Cattleya alaorii - alba no more

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Djthomp28

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I purchased this as an alba variety, and it bloomed true to form for years. Then it bloomed during a heat wave and a purple ring appeared on the lip. I guess it is not an alba after all.

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littlefrog

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Interesting. If I had to guess ahead of time I'd say more color at low temperatures. Guess that was a bad guess! neat.
 

DrLeslieEe

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It is indeed an interesting phenomena in the cattleya alliance where epigenetics play an influential role in the expression of colors (and other physical floral traits) on the flower. I have unifoliates that intensify the pincelada markings in response to auxins and flower substance based on humidity. Goes to show that culture, nutrition and ambient conditions can control expression of floral genes.

DJ, do you have a pic of this plant in the last two previous flowering season to show the alba color? I’m looking to see if there was any pink cast in the back of the tepals. Or slight purple dots on lip side lobes.
 

Djthomp28

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Thanks all! The conversation about color expression is interesting.

Here are a couple of photos from 2018 when it bloomed in September and not in the middle of a heat wave.

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tomp

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With the yellow throat is this still alba?
Alba’s can and often do show yellow.
reds, pinks, blue and purple are expressed by the pigment Anthocyanin. To be a true alba the flower lacks the ability to express Anthocyanin. I am sure others will have a more thorough explanation but that’s the essence.
 

Guldal

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Alba’s can and often do show yellow.
reds, pinks, blue and purple are expressed by the pigment Anthocyanin. To be a true alba the flower lacks the ability to express Anthocyanin. I am sure others will have a more thorough explanation but that’s the essence.
The definition is correct, albeit the diagnosis is wrong: the plants, that cannot express anthocyanin are albinos.
The designation 'abum'/'alba' means 'white' in latin, and should strict botanically speaking be reserved for pure, all white flowers (see Gruß or Braem for a detailed discussion on the topic).
What really confuses the matter is, that albino plants have been awarded or legitimately published as albums even though being f.ex. white and green (recte: alboviride) or white and yellow (alboflavum) or golden yellow (aureum).
 

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