Cattleya Horace 'Maxima' AM/AOS

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Here is a picture of the first flowering of my Agdia-strip-negative mericlone of Cattleya Horace ‘Maxima’. I don’t know who did the cloning. This first bloom is a single flower about 15 cm in horizontal spread, but the conformation is excellent. I don’t know what caused the color deformity on the left petal, but I need to watch carefully next flowering. It could be a genetic defect in the mericlone. The leaf of the currently blooming growth tested negative by Agdia strip again today.
IMG_2487.jpeg

Cattleya Horace (trianae x Woltersiana) was RHS registered in 1938 by Flandria Orchids in Belgium. WW2 came soon after and as Ozpaph emphasized recently in a Slippertalk post, the war caused the loss of many British and European plants, breeding records, and probably award records. Jerry Fischer noted on the Orchids Limited website that the first award for Horace was in 1949, which must have been RHS because the first AOS award was not until 1963. He also indicated that the 1949 award was for the cultivar ‘Maxima’.

The 1963 AOS award to ‘Maxima’ in Orchids Pro was a 78-point HCC given to an unknown exhibitor. Two years later ‘Maxima’ received an 81-point AM, again to an unknown exhibitor. Forty-two years later (2008), Ron Midgett of New Earth Orchids in Santa Fe received an 82-point AM. The judge’s comments noted:
“…though an older hybrid, flatness and proportional conformation make this plant worthy of an AM.” Ron’s plant had an impressive 4 flowers on the inflorescence, the largest flower being 19.1 cm wide.

Ron published a short online article about what makes Cattleya Horace ‘Maxima’ not just a great flower but also a great breeder:

Cattleya Horace 'Maxima' AM/AOS...A Great Parent

His main points about Horace ‘Maxima’:
-it does not breed like a typical lavender, but like a semi-alba; when bred to strong yellows it produces progeny in a wide range of colors
-it has a strong stem that can carry as many as 4 flowers (most flowerings have 2 blooms or occasionally 3 but you can get 4 if well grown)
-it passes its great form on to almost anything
-it has excellent substance
-it has large flower size

Some of this suggests polyploidy to me and I have seen it noted that Horace ‘Maxima’ is 4N, but I don’t know if this was reliably proven with chromosome counts. If the 1949 RHS award was for ‘Maxima’ it was only 11 years after Horace was registered, so it must have been a spontaneous mutation in the original Horace cross. This would explain why no other Horace cultivars have been awarded. Ron says that some plants from self-crossings of ‘Maxima’ have been very nice, but not better than ‘Maxima’.

Cattleya Horace (probably only ‘Maxima’) has so many immediate offspring listed on Orchid Roots that I didn’t want to count them and this cultivar continues to be used as a parent today.
 
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The streak may be also caused when flowers open under warm night conditions. The deposition of anthocyanins cannot catch up with the fast expansion of floral parts.
 
great shape for such an old classic. wonderful.
Which viruses does the test show?
The Agdia Orchid Immune strip tests for Cymbidium mosaic and Odontoglossum ring spot viruses, which are the main two viruses affecting orchids. There are other infrequent viruses that I don’t think we can routinely test for. There was another vendor of tests, but I think I see vendors more commonly mentioning the Agdia. The strips are easy to use.
 
The streak may be also caused when flowers open under warm night conditions. The deposition of anthocyanins cannot catch up with the fast expansion of floral parts.
The previous month when the bud was developing the night time low temperature was 68 F where the plant was. Highs were 81. I could have gotten a few degrees cooler if I had moved the plant to a lower level. I am now entering the time in the year when I allow the room to cool. How much cooler do you think would make a difference in pigment development?
 
What I can add is simple. As a student judge in the late 90’s, one topic I chose for one of my student presentations was Cattleya Horace. I found a few clones that were used in the production of colored hybrids. ‘Maxima’ was just one.
What I found was simple to understand and very easy to see. Where ever well shaped Cattleyas we’re produced, C. Horace was in the background often!!! The trianae influence of broad flat petals was obvious.

Even today, when a broad petaled, well shaped flower comes before us on the judging table, C. Horace is in the background either as a parent or grandparent.
 
What I can add is simple. As a student judge in the late 90’s, one topic I chose for one of my student presentations was Cattleya Horace. I found a few clones that were used in the production of colored hybrids. ‘Maxima’ was just one.
What I found was simple to understand and very easy to see. Where ever well shaped Cattleyas we’re produced, C. Horace was in the background often!!! The trianae influence of broad flat petals was obvious.

Even today, when a broad petaled, well shaped flower comes before us on the judging table, C. Horace is in the background either as a parent or grandparent.
Thanks. The number of offspring is incredible.
 
The previous month when the bud was developing the night time low temperature was 68 F where the plant was. Highs were 81. I could have gotten a few degrees cooler if I had moved the plant to a lower level. I am now entering the time in the year when I allow the room to cool. How much cooler do you think would make a difference in pigment development?
In my experience, for trianae hybrids, around 15-18C.
 
This makes sense as to why the old growers and breeders, who sadly many friends have gone to the big orchid house in the sky, said to me 30 years ago (such as Nicky Woolley ect). Many yellows are really (genetically) pinks and purples masquerading as yellow- because they have Horace in the background. (Blc. Goldenzelle is one such cattleya.)
 
Goldenzelle is another great breeding plant producing dozens of quality offspring. I had occasion once to look into images of Goldenzelle clones just to include an image or two of a really good one to include in a society talk. There were a few gorgeous ones, ‘Lemon Chiffon’ is one such beauty in my opinion.
But the silly part is that in all the years of awards to that hybrid, there have been some ugly ones. Really “howling at the moon” kind of things. So many were really contorted with uneven color and deeply pinched lips, things that made me think, “ how in the world was that ever awarded?!?! 🤪
To say that the floral parts were reflexed would be an understatement.
But I digress, Goldenzelle and Horace are at the top when it comes to great hybrids!!!
 
In my experience, for trianae hybrids, around 15-18C.
Important to know. For the last month I could have put the plant on a lower shelf that would have achieved those night time temperatures. I need to try this. Right now this would also mean lower light levels and that would also have a coloration effect.
 
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Goldenzelle is another great breeding plant producing dozens of quality offspring. I had occasion once to look into images of Goldenzelle clones just to include an image or two of a really good one to include in a society talk. There were a few gorgeous ones, ‘Lemon Chiffon’ is one such beauty in my opinion.
But the silly part is that in all the years of awards to that hybrid, there have been some ugly ones. Really “howling at the moon” kind of things. So many were really contorted with uneven color and deeply pinched lips, things that made me think, “ how in the world was that ever awarded?!?! 🤪
To say that the floral parts were reflexed would be an understatement.
But I digress, Goldenzelle and Horace are at the top when it comes to great hybrids!!!
Were the ugly ones from the original cross or where they selfings or mericlones that didn’t work out?
 
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A classic with absolutely incredible form, thanks for sharing! Congrats!
 
The Agdia Orchid Immune strip tests for Cymbidium mosaic and Odontoglossum ring spot viruses, which are the main two viruses affecting orchids. There are other infrequent viruses that I don’t think we can routinely test for. There was another vendor of tests, but I think I see vendors more commonly mentioning the Agdia. The strips are easy to use.
The other vendor tests for the same viruses. Their tests are a bit cheaper but I didn’t find as convenient to use
 

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