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CATTLEYA x dolosa

Image of Cattleya x dolosa

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

CATTLEYA x dolosa

Plant Common Name

Cattleya, Corsage Orchid, Deceiving Cattleya, Dolose Cattleya

General Description

A vigorous, consistent bloomer, Cattleya x dolosa is beloved for its fragrant, pale purplish-pink, spring flowers. This tropical orchid is lithophytic, which means it grows on rocks, and is commonly believed to be a naturally occurring hybrid between Cattleya walkeriana and Cattleya loddigesii, both from southcentral Brazil. Easy-to-grow and vigorous, it will form a lush, dense cluster upon a tree branch, wood basket or heavy pot.

Two stiff, oblong, leathery green leaves grow from each slender pseudobulb. Growth typically occurs in two spurts, one in spring and another in summer, followed by a dormant period in winter. In spring, a mature pseudobulb will form one to a few fragrant flowers on fleshy stalks. Each blossom is fuchsia-pink with a purplish sheen and a ruffled lip of deep rose and white. The specialized flowers are pollinated by bees able to enter the lips and gather or share pollen sacs, or pollinia. Variety alba has all white blossoms with faint yellow on the lips.

Grow dolose cattleya in nearly full sun to dappled partial sun. This true epiphyte should be grown in free-draining pots filled with bark chips. From spring through fall, grow in a warm location with high humidity, excellent air circulation, and frequent rainfall. Slightly drier conditions and more light are needed in autumn and winter. Provide just the right amount of light to encourage best growth and flowering. Leaves can scorch in hot afternoon sun, especially when ambient humidity is low. Leaves also become yellow-green when light is too intense. Repot plants only when they become root bound and only when they are not flowering.

Use the cut flowers for corsages, floral arrangements or other decorative uses.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    12 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    14"-18" / 35.6cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink, Rose

  • 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

    Coarse

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No