C. Athena Chagaris 'Orchidhaven'

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Feb 1, 2019
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I have been overwhelmed with anticipation waiting for this plant to bloom. I received it a couple years ago as a bareroot division from Plato Matthews. The original bulbs are absolutely enormous, but the first growth it produced for me was quite small, and although it did have a sheath, it did not bloom. This years growth was nearly double the size of last years, but still only about half the size of the original growths. The plant overall is quite vigorous and puts out tons of roots that love to wander out of the pot and into the pots of its neighbor. Unfortunately, as befalls all my most highly anticipated blooms, this one met with disaster. The bud emerged from the sheath during a 2.5 week period where we had absolutely no sun, and it began to open the first sunny day. Since the bud was not acclimated to the sun it burned while opening - the dorsal is a brown dried up mess, and you can see the damage inflicted on both petals, which did not open fully. Oh well, there is always next year - the petals are HUGE and wide and the sepals do not curve back at all. I think on a good blooming this is going to be absolutely spectacular. The cross is C. Helen P Dane x C. Barbara Billingsley and it was registered by Harold Patterson in 1965. This plant was never shown, so it has no award, but it was used for cut flower production by Patterson and was used extensively in breeding. Athena Chagaris is one of the parents of the famous C. Sierra Blanca grex, of which the clone 'Mt. Whitney' AM/AOS is still widely grown.
I can’t wait to see next years bloom, adding this comment to be notified immediately :)

that lip is so wide, coupled with round flat petals and a proper dorsal it’s going to be a sight. Barbara Billingsley, what great genes.
That Catt. is going to be a beauty on the next bloom cycle. Fragrant perhaps?
Yes, it’s fragrant! Not as strong as the Bob Betts next to it, but still a classic Cattleya scent!
Thanks for the comments, I was excited enough about it I wanted to share! Even though it isn’t a good blooming….they can’t all be winners!