No I.D. Cattleya behaving strangely

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Tlynnt66

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As for most of the no I.D. orchids in my collection (and there are many), this orchid was given to me by a neighbor moving away to a colder climate. He said it once had a tag, but that it was likely lost in a previous move. After cleaning it up and removing the older and slightly rotted bits, I was left with three relatively healthy pseudobulbs, which I did not expect much out of considering its poor health. However, this lovely cattleya (maybe laeliocattleya?) surprised me with a wonderful holiday gift. Out of four very healthy and luscious blooms, one seems to lack the entire lip. Is this weird, and has anyone seen it before? Perhaps a change of climate could have caused this?

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Tlynnt66

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So, have I got the orchid equivalent of a four-leafed clover on my hands? I could sure use it! :D
 
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Oh, no! Is this a transmissible condition?
Oh my, yes very (easily) transmissible!! Agdia.com has tests for the two most prevalent orchid viruses CymMV and ORSV. A 5 test kit is not cheap, but worth it as you could infect your whole collection, if not identified and destroyed. All about disinfection of tools, hands, etc. (believe me, I learned this the hard way). I'm running about ⅓ positive in my collection, but I'm testing obvious problem plants first, so hoping for better odds later. Thread about this in slippertalk (if you can't find it, let me know). Anyway, it does not get better, only worse. Be very aware of your hands and anything else that touches anything with sap from this plant, especially repotting, but also, trimming with clippers Also, being a Cattleya, they exude sap. Sorry... Until you test, you won't know, but if positive, unless you have the space to isolate plants that are positive and seriously control.. destroy them. I've destroyed 11 so far, out of less than 100, but I've only tested a bit over 30 (which included new purchases) and plants that just didn't look right, or were not growing well.
 
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Yes I tested most of my collection with the RegaBio test. About 15% positive and all non-slippers... Mostly Cattleya types. I am no longer testing paphs or phrags for CymMV or ORSV...
 
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I am not as clear on the color break. For me it is hard to tell if that is a color break or light reflection. Still, color is a strong indicator of virus. So I agree about taking precautions.

The missing lip could be climate related or genetic. I was just reading the Q&A section of the January Orchids magazine. A reader asked about having extra flower tissue as an indication of virus. The response was that many external and genetic factors can cause flower deformations. Virus is also a potential cause but the only way to know for sure is to test the plant.
 

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