Cattleya lueddemanniana ‘helle’ and a mystery

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This outlier lueddemanniana clone flowers like clockwork every summer. Not the usual spring blooming season. It’s also twice the size of my other clones and happily carries four large flowers. The blooms are a bit paler than usual as it opened during our record breaking heatwave in the past two days. A temperature of over 40c was recorded a two site in England for the first time ever. Thank god today is just high twenties and tonight we can all get some sleep. Very few people in the UK have aircon.
The mystery is the last photo. It was bought as mendelli aquinii a couple of years ago and is clearly either a semi alba warscewiczii or xhardyana. Whatever it is, it’s a very nice clone with wide petals, especially given that this plant is came from South America 18 months ago and this is just the second growth in northern hemisphere time. I’d estimate that the new bulb is about half of full size.
I am leaning towards thinking it’s the pure species given the clarity of the two yellow spots. They tend to be reduced or broken down somewhat in x hardyana.
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David
 
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GuRu

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..... I am leaning towards thinking it’s the pure species given the clarity of the two yellow spots. They tend to be reduced or broken down somewhat in x hardyana.
David, at any rate these flowers are two definite beauties. But I nyself tend contrary to you presumption of the second one beeing C. x hardyana semialba by the golden veins within the throat of the lip. There are many photos in the net one flower which is close to yours, at least in my eyes, you will find here .
 
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David, does the column have the typical lueddemannia little wings?

Based on my known warscewiczii x dowiana cross plant and looking at online pictures, I agree with you that straight warscewiczii fits better for your mystery plant.
 

dodidoki

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David, does the column have the typical lueddemannia little wings?

Based on my known warscewiczii x dowiana cross plant and looking at online pictures, I agree with you that straight warscewiczii fits better for your mystery plant.
I think it is lueddemanniana x gigas.I have the same plant.
 

dodidoki

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Cattleya Carmen from net.I had an own pic but can t find.
 

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I’ve been in contact with the vendor who tells me that the second plant is a select form of the hybrid x hardyana ( warscewiczii x dowiana). It’s a shame, I would have preferred the mendelli but with Brexit closing the borders, it’s not possible to import now without considerable time and expense (photos and cites certification)
Terry, yes the pale one has the typical column wings. This species has a particularly large geographical range from almost coastal to up into the mountains. It’s not surprising that we see some variation in flowering seasons.
Angela, let’s hope so. For this hybrid, it already has pretty good form.
dodidoki, are you talking about the x hardyana?
 

dodidoki

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Very nice, i just had a thought.Maybe hardyana.I dont know....
 

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dodidoki

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Great.Hardyana is not an easy plant but beautiful, there is no doubt.Yes, plants are mine, Lady is my wonderful wife.
 
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Leslie, thanks for the idea! Maybe when it’s all grown up and the growths are two or three times the current size it’ll be worth taking it along. Do you know if there is much line breeding of x hardyana in South America?
 

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Nice David!

I have a couple of lueddemanniana clones that bloom twice per year with the second bloom around this time. I've read that in the the Victorian era, lueddemanniana was considered a tough to bloom plant in Europe due to the challenge of keeping it warm enough and enough light in winter to get it to bloom and not infrequently bloomed in mid to late summer instead of its primary bloom season. Perhaps 40C is just what it has been waiting for.

For the semi alba here are two links.
x Hardyana
semi alba 'Bedford'

There is some introgression between warscewiczii and aurea so this is another area where things aren't as crisply delineated as in other species. Further, back crossing hardyana to itself or a sib is not the same as x hardyana. Some of the 'hardyana' plants available in the trade are actually this cross. If you look at tipo warscewiczii clones, then tend to have a closed tubular lip as do the alba clones. It is in the semi albas that you often find a more open lip around the column similar to aurea and what is observed in x hardyana. Whether the semi alba clones of warscewczii found in the wild are the result of introgression with aurea or not, I don't know, but I have my suspicions. Based on the open lip and coloration, would bet on hardyana for your plant. That being said, a number of the other known "warscewiczii' semi alba clones look very similar to yours.
 
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Geoff,
this pale lueddemanniana always flowers in summer. It has done so for seven years. Others I grow flower as normal in the spring. Some will do either or both.
I guess it’s not surprising that there is some breeding work going on within warscewiczii/dowiana/hardyana. They all produce lovely plants especially when the latest line bred parents are used. When the breeders get involved, who knows what was crossed?
It’s not clear from your description but I thought that when two hybrids of the same grex were crossed, the resulting plants all had the same grex name as the parents? So two hardyana clones crossed together produces more plants with a hardyana label, even though they are a generation further on.
We will not know what level of introgression has occurred in some plants between warscewiczii and dowiana within this group until genetic markers are available.
 

geoffsharris

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Geoff,
this pale lueddemanniana always flowers in summer. It has done so for seven years. Others I grow flower as normal in the spring. Some will do either or both.
I guess it’s not surprising that there is some breeding work going on within warscewiczii/dowiana/hardyana. They all produce lovely plants especially when the latest line bred parents are used. When the breeders get involved, who knows what was crossed?
It’s not clear from your description but I thought that when two hybrids of the same grex were crossed, the resulting plants all had the same grex name as the parents? So two hardyana clones crossed together produces more plants with a hardyana label, even though they are a generation further on.
We will not know what level of introgression has occurred in some plants between warscewiczii and dowiana within this group until genetic markers are available.
Hi David,

I don't mean to say what the RHS (or growers) calls the cross x hardyana x self isn't "hardyana", I mean the genetics of the plant. In x hardyana you have 50:50 contribution from both parents, but those can re-assort in the next generation of x hardyana x self (or sib) in that the genes of the resultant prodigy may be skewed strongly toward dowiana or warscewiczii. The offspring of hardyana x self cross will have far more diversity of flower coloration than the aurea x warscewiczii cross that made x hardyana in the first place. For any number of putative species, the cross by self is a good test for being a natural hybrid. If they are all very uniform, most likely the plant is a true species or at least a stable introgressed hybrid with limited diversity. If it has a lot of diversity in flowering, it suggests natural hybrid origin. If you line breed x hardyana by selfs and sibs, you could easily get back to something that looks a lot like either parent depending on the parent selection and as far as the RHS is concerned it would be hardyana. It would likely not very be particularly representative of the wild natural hybrid x hardyana. It would probably also be an astoundingly beautiful plant. I'm a bit biased as these are two of my favorite orchids.
 

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