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Botanical Spotlight: The Autumn Pixie

You will find Guarianthe bowringiana in its native Central America, from southern Mexico to Honduras. One of the plant’s signature characteristics is its  remarkable adaptability. Guarianthe bowringiana typically flourishes in several types of environments—as lithophytes in rocky, sun-splashed ravines; as terrestrials on quartz sand alongside fast-moving streams; and as epiphytes. Guarianthe bowringiana’s name has an interesting history dating back to the late 19th century. Originally, it was known as Cattleya autumnalis—dubbed by James Veitch & Sons, who discovered the plant and displayed it in London in 1885. When Cattleya autumnalis earned a First Class Certificate by the Royal Horticultural Society, it got a new name: Cattleya bowringiana. That  moniker paid homage to a loyal customer, John C. Bowring. The Windsor Forest native was a dedicated hobbyist of orchids, and the son of Sir John Bowring, who served Queen Victoria as a diplomat in China. Now fast forward to 2003, when Robert Dressler and Wesley Higgins coined the name  Guarianthe. And the rest is history.

Guarianthe bowringiana
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