Friday, November 19, 2010

Pretty picture: Laeliocattleya Crownfox Sweetheart 'Paradise'

This is awfully close to what I picture in my head when I talk about the flowers from Cattleya alliance crosses, even if the lip is not all that frilly. I'm especially pleased with the light purple lines down the center of the petals and sepals: it's a nice touch. I'd like this a lot less if the petals and sepals were pure white.

I did Google, but didn't come up with a whole lot of interest about this one. Two sites sell it: one site sells this plant in Canada for $30 Canadian, plus $10-20 shipping; another site sells the same plant in the U.S. for $17.50 plus $10 shipping plus maybe more; it's kind of unclear how the shipping works on the second place. The flower is supposedly very fragrant, but I wouldn't know: this was eight months ago, and I couldn't get close enough to most of the flowers in the show to detect a fragrance.

The parentage is Laeliocattleya Memoria Robert Strait x Cattleya walkeriana; I couldn't find the parentage of Lc. Memoria Robert Strait, though I also didn't look very hard.


Steve Asbell said...

I'm so glad that you decided to post on an Lc.! I just bought a bunch of various cattleya crosses, with many at $5 a piece and planted some of them on my new vertical garden installation that I just posted on. It really saves space and I'm considering doing another one.

Have you had experience with any of the cattleya intergeneric hybrids? I've been growing epicatts and epicyclias and they've been foolproof. I also just got a couple of epilaeliocattleya "butterfly kisses" since they're a cross between lc. "trick or treat" and the cold hardiest epiphytic orchid, epidendrum conopseum. I'll try hardening one off to the elements and save the other for breeding.

mr_subjunctive said...

Rainforest Gardener:

Only very limited experience so far; I got a Brassolaeliocattleya Helen Brown a couple years (?) ago, which has stayed alive quite admirably, and even got substantially larger, but it was very small to begin with (which is how I was able to afford it -- $5/plant is unheard of here) and I'm not expecting flowers for at least another couple years.

Cattleya alliance plants tend not to be that common here to begin with; we rarely if ever were offered them by our supplier when I worked in the garden center. When they are available, they're usually very expensive ($30-40 for a flowering-sized plant), though I've seen some recently that were in the $10-15 range. (Unfortunately, I didn't have $10-15 at the time, so that didn't help.)

Steve Asbell said...

I've read that they are pretty adaptable to home conditions, and I can vouch for their tolerance of neglect... love the succulent stems/pseudobulbs! I'm on the lookout for a cross with the fairly cold hardy laelia anceps... BTW, here's a link to the grower i purchased from recently. Check out the 6 dollar cattleyas!

CatsandCatts said...

Merciful Zeus! Those flowers are simply gorgeous.

That you didn't have a chance to smell the flowers might be a blessing in disguise because Cattleya perfume is a powerful mind-altering drug. The addict in its throes will spend irrational sums on orchids, orchid society memberships, and travel to orchid shows. The smell is that good.

You can tell C. Walkeriana is used in the cross because of the splayed lip and the exposed column. C. Walkeriana is also responsible for the upward slope of the mid-line of the petals, which conveys a "smiling" effect to the flower.

I don't know about Lc. Mem. Robert Strait, but I'll look it up on AQ+ when my other machine is out of the shop. I'm going to guess that it has C. Dowiana in there somewhere (a species used in a lot of lavender catts).

I saw Fred Clarke (Sunset Valley Orchids) give a talk about mini and compact-Catt hybridizing at the MidAmerica Orchid Society Fall meeting in Oklahoma. His website has a lot of useful information about intergeneric Cattleyas and his prices are very competitive.

Anonymous said...

I love the faint purple colour down the center and around the edge of the petals and sepals but the lip is too distracting and the flower shape doesn't do much for me. Plus I don't particularly like the smell of (most) Cattleyas.

CatsandCatts said...

Mr. Subjunctive,
As promised I looked up C. Memoria Robert Strait on the American Orchid Society software (AQ+). C. Mem. Robert Strait is a cross between C. walkeriana and C. Wayndora. C. Wayndora goes back six generations, with "famous" Cattleya primary crosses, including C. Enid (C. mossiae x C. warscewiczii) and C. Canhamiana (C. mossiae x. C. purpurta). The cross also has C. labiata and C. dowiana in its family tree.

In short, Lc. Crownfox Sweetheart is a mutt of noble parentage.