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CATTLEYA porphyroglossa

Image of Cattleya porphyroglossa

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

CATTLEYA porphyroglossa

Plant Common Name

Cattleya, Corsage Orchid, Purple-lipped Corsage Orchid

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Long-lasting and boldly fragrant, Cattleya porphyroglossa adds springtime interest with its starry flowers of golden olive-brown and violet lips. More easily called the purple-lipped cattleya or corsage orchid, this tender perennial orchid is native to the trees along rivers in southeastern Brazil's swampy forests. It is epiphytic (growing on another plant) and will form a lush, dense cluster on a tree branch, or in a wood/wire basket or weighted pot in frost-free gardens.

Two oblong, stiff, leathery green leaves grows from the tip of each slender but flattened pseudobulb. In late spring and into the summer, each pseudobulb can yield a short stem that holds three to eight fragrant flowers. Each blossom doesn't quite fully open and is a golden brown to orange-olive with a white and violet column and ruffled violet lip. Sometimes two flower petals have violet-mottled veining. This specialized flower is pollinated by a specifically sized insect that fits inside the lip.

Grow purple-lipped cattleya in partial sun to very bright shade. No soil can be used; rather the plant can be supported in a coarse bark or charcoal media that allows water to freely drain. High humidity, excellent air circulation, and frequent rainfall in the warmth of spring through fall is ideal. Allow the plant to be slightly drier and receive more light in the fall and winter. This species can tolerate oppressively hot and humid summer climates. 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 cut flowers for leis, hair decals, table garnishes or floral arrangements. Consider repotting this orchid only if it is greatly rootbound, and then only after it finishes flowering and root tips begin new growth.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    14"-18" / 35.6cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-20" / 30.5cm - 50.8cm

  • Native To

    Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • 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

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No