Cattleya lueddemanniana ('Canaima's Panita' x 'Macaray' AM/AOS)

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Nov 29, 2008
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Bloomington, MN
I purchased this as a seedling from Orchids Limited but they didn’t make the cross. This is the first bloom with three flowers, which are about 13.0 cm in horizontal natural spread. The tips of the petals reflex posteriorly a bit.


I am struck by the dark color of the sepals and petals and the distinct yellow of the proximal labellum. The only other picture from this cross was posted in Orchid Board in the following link:

C. lueddemanniana rubra - Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web !

I have looked through the awarded lueddemanniana pictures in Orchid Pro and confirmed that there are not very many darker lavender cultivars. Here is a link to the award picture from ‘Macaray’.

‘Canaima’s Panita’ is not awarded by AOS but here is a link to an online Flickr image. It does seem darker.

However, flower color is influenced by the lighting and the camera. I take my pictures with an iPhone under standardized conditions using a diffuse LED panel that has three settings for light temperature. I have found that the 4000K setting best reproduces what I see with a photo of a flower in indirect morning sun. I elevate the panel surface to about 15 cm above the top of a flower. I do not use color correction, but I do crop the image to a standard margin around the flower.

Getting ridiculously into weeds with color on this one I compared my flower image to some color wheels on my iMac and found the best match to Hex color #ba2aab in the Amora Purple color family. This is somewhere in the magenta group. Here is a link to the color that matches for my eyes.

The AOS used to match colors of flowers and parts to color wheels and published the numbers with the flower description. This was probably better than relying on the variability of the flower pictures but the lighting conditions at the time of descriptions would still be a variable. They stopped doing this some years ago, probably because it was tedious to do. Color is a complicated physics, plant genetic, and human ophthalmologic topic.

In the end, I think I have a decent size, shape, and color Cattleya lueddemanniana that might get even better with another several blooming cycles! Everything else is just me fiddling with time on my hands after a knee replacement.
Well lueddemnniana wasn't described or brought into cultivation until after most of the large flowered species and even then everyone preferred mossiae do to it's being the darling of the cut flower industry in the US. mossiae Was named the national flower of Venezuela when the people of Venezuela prefer lueddemnniana because of its naturally good shape. the cut flower growers of the 20's 30's 40's and 50's sort of shuned all the other spring catts.