Friday, January 2, 2009

The best cattleya I ever owned!

If I had a greenhouse, it might be a lot easier to get amazing results from all the cattleya hybrids in my collection, but under my conditions (indoors for the winter under flourescent lights and window, outside for summer) there is one cattleya that it utterly reliable and not sloppy in its growth either. This is Blc. Burdekin Wonderland "Lake Land", in bloom last week. It is an upright growing plant that doesn't try to run out of the pot or upwards as though it was trying to climb stairs (or a tree trunk) as do so many cattleya hybrids, nor does it tend to send leaves out in all directions. It blooms reliably at least twice a year. The flowers are classic cattleya form, broad frilled petals and lip, and it is strongly fragrant a few days after the flowers first open. I got it at a mark down at the end of the last (2 yrs ago) orchid show in Manhattan. Actually my wife wanted it, and when it first opened the flowers buds it came with from the show, I was disappointed in their size. But when it rebloomed and the flowers reached their normal (huge) size, I was floored. Even though it is not a minicatt by any means, not even close, it is a great plant for indoor gardeners.

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