Laelia purpurata

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fma. carnea 'Hihimanu' x fma. semi-alba 'Carmencita'
first bloomer with 2 spikes.
I bought this one as a fma. carnea sib cross but it bloomed out with a significantly darker lip. it appears that one of its parents was a semi-alba, so I have no idea what crossing it to a fma. carnea will create (back to fma. tipo, perhaps?)



First described in 1852 and hailing from Brazil, the spectacular Laelia purpurata hardly needs an introduction. It is so cherished in its native country that it serves as the national flower, and has orchid societies dedicated to its cultivation. Moreover, during the flowering season, one can even attend orchid shows that solely feature the many color forms of this fine species. Indeed, over a hundred forms have been described on the basis of flower color and patterning. Some of the most famous forms include carnea (salmon lip), werckhauseri (slate blue lip), and sanguinea (magenta petals and sepals).

Laelia purpurata is an easy grower under standard cattleya conditions. After blooming in early summer, the plants will rest briefly before pushing up new growth in late summer or early autumn. It should receive plenty of light and water during this time, up until the growths mature in late winter. After a short rest, buds will start to appear, ultimately culminating in heads of large (5-7"), fragrant flowers on strong inflorescences. Laelia purpurata is a very large plant when well-grown, and leaves on mature plants can exceed 20" in length.

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