Two new alba catts

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Nov 28, 2009
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Cambridge, UK
First up is lueddemanniana alba ‘Mirjam’ SM/DOG. A nice big flower and second photo shows it with ‘sarita’. The scent from the two is lovely. Next is a division from eBay of jenmanii alba ‘Fuch’s snow’. It’s very similar to the jenmanii alba I posted recently and the second photo shows the two of the together to compare. The older flower is now showing necrotic stripes as it ages so it’s on a one way trip to the bin as it’s almost certainly virus.
Terry, I take a more relaxed approach to viruses than many. I grow quite a few cattleya species divisions and by their nature they are likely to have a higher proportion of virused plants compared to other orchids.
I have never tested any of my plants. The strips are hard to come by in the UK.
If there are no physical symptoms of a virus on the leaves or flowers I leave them be.
I practise good hygiene and check every plant weekly for pests so fingers crossed there is little transmission within my collection.
Here is a third alba Catt, flowering for the first time but the flower quality is not great. The plant is well established but not mature.
This is labelled as mossiae alba ‘Bela vista’. However the front lower portion of the lip has a block of very faint colour which is now disappearing as the flower matures, so it’s more of an albescens.
After obtaining Bow Bells and Bob Betts, I hadn’t thought I would be interested in alba/albescence species, but after blooming an alba warscewiczii I am changing my mind and now have seedlings of alba warneri and trianae. However, it is not that easy to find alba of other species. Sounds like you have really hunted and been successful.
Good luck with the albas.
You need to speak to Dr Leslie if you want to find sources for specific types.
He has all the contacts!
I was lucky over here in that several German nurseries, especially Max Strauss import direct from South America. In some cases the contacts were German expats who started nurseries over there. So there is a tradition of importing both cattleya seedlings and divisions into Europe.
Of course, all that has stopped for me with Brexit. Maybe in time we’ll find a work around that means we can bring in plants from the continent without cites and a phyto, but at present it’s a no go.
All the windowsills are full now so there is no more room for more anyway.
I spent the last 18 months sourcing species and selling off a few of the hybrids and this year, many will be flowering for the first time. I’ll be posting more soon. The first of the purpurata clones in in bud now.
Thanks for sharing, I really like that Bela Vista, and all the other Albas, you have had some good luck obtaining well formed flowers. I'm glad you were able to grab some young plants before Brexit and sounds like you have a few little ones to work on blooming until it all gets sorted out. I'm sure something will eventually work out for sourcing.. this can't be the only hobby impacted. Also a big fan of the lueddemanniana alba ‘Mirjam’ SM/DOG, great form. I really wish lueddemanniana had a larger flower count, but I guess having one really magnificent flower is something to be cherished.
Pete, there are two flowers on Mirjam this year!
Two seems to be about the limit on many clones of lueddemanniana but there are some outliers. There is quite a bit of variation in the size of growths of different clones. I have one that is twice the size of most of them and is quite capable of holding four blooms. It also grows in the spring/summer and flowers in the autumn. With the geographical range of the species being long and narrow, from the coast to the mountains with a severely xeric environment, there is quite a range and it’s not surprising that the plants vary.