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CATTLEYA amethystoglossa

Image of Cattleya amethystoglossa

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

CATTLEYA amethystoglossa

Plant Common Name

Cattleya, Corsage Orchid

General Description

Producing abundant lavender to violet-pink, spotted flowers, Cattleya amethystoglossa is a lush epiphytic orchid found along the treetops in Brazilian rainforests. It forms a dense cluster ideal for cultivation in a wooden/wire basket or weighted pot. The rapid deforestation of eastern Brazil has reduced wild populations making it difficult for botanists to find plants in the wild. Several natural varieties exist including alba (white flowered) and coerulea (violet-blue flowered).

Two long, stiff, leathery green leaves grow from the tip of each slender pseudobulb. When temperatures are warm, and conditions drier, the plant creates a dense branched cluster with up to twenty flowers, usually sometime from late fall to spring. Each small, fragrant blossom is lavender-pink with darker spots surrounding a violet-magenta lip, though coloration can be variable. The specialized flowers are pollinated by a specific bee species just the right size to enter a flower, capture its pollen and carry it to other corsage orchids.

Grow Cattleya amethystoglossa in nearly full sun to very bright partial shade. It is a true tropical epiphyte that should be mounted on a tree branch, in a wire or wooden slat basket or heavy clay pot filled with free-draining coarse bark or charcoal media. A warm, humid atmosphere with good air flow, indoors or out, is a must. Allow the orchid to become drier and receive more light in autumn and winter. Leaves can scorch in hot afternoon sun, especially with low ambient humidity. Leaves also become overly yellow-green when light is too intense. Lack of sunlight also can prevent flowering.

Use the cutflowers for corsages, hair decals, table garnishes or floral arrangements. Consider repotting this orchid only when rootbound and then only after it finishes flowering.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    24"-36" / 61.0cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    20"-26" / 50.8cm - 66.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Magenta, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No