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GUARIANTHE aurantiaca

Image of Guarianthe aurantiaca

James Burghardt

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

GUARIANTHE aurantiaca

Plant Common Name

Orange Cattleya, Orange Guarianthe Orchid

General Description

Guarianthe aurantiaca (fomerly known as Cattleya aurantiaca) is an epiphytic orchid grown for its spring display of showy orange blooms. It is native to humid upland forests from Mexico to El Salvador, naturally occurring on tree limbs and rock outcroppings.

This evergreen perennial spreads by creeping rhizomes to form colonies of cylindrical to spindle-shaped, cane-like pseudobulbs, each topped by two stiff, leathery, oval leaves. Dense clusters of red-orange to yellow blooms appear at the "cane" tips in late winter or spring. The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.

This adaptable orchid thrives in bright light, warm summers, and temperate, frost-free winters, and does not require high humidity. Grow it in a container in a porous, medium-coarse "orchid mix," or mount it on a tree crotch, wood slab, or rock ledge. Water frequently and feed occasionally from spring to fall, reducing water and withholding fertilizer in winter. It makes a striking specimen for a moderate to warm greenhouse or tropical to subtropical garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 24

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    18"-28" / 45.7cm - 71.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange, Gold, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color

    Light Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No