An Orchid for Mid-Summer

 

Mid summer rings in the flowering doldrums for orchid collections along the Heat Belt. At Selby, stanhopeas and gongoras help fill summer’s void, but we constantly seek to broaden diversity of our late summer flowering cattleyas. Part of the answer may have been accidentally developed right here.

We have frequently promoted our Cattleya hardyana, a 1984 remake of the natural hybrid once encountered in Colombia among C. dowiana var. aurea and C. warscewiczii. The Victorians loved it, but it was lost to horticulture for decades. We enjoyed a spectacular flowering of at least 15 clones this year, but none as promising as a late flowering clone with garnet red lip and large well defined yellow eyes. The growths are larger than those of other clones producing up to five flowers each while the others produced two to very rarely four flowers. But more importantly, this clone flowers later in the summer with several sheaths showing buds promising an August display. I estimate this plant will be in flower again about the second week of August and when it should again be on display. If you wish to see it, come to the Tropical Display House around mid August.