Probably one of the most photographed and painted Orchid species is Cattleya.
The botanical name is Cattleya labiata and belongs to Orchidaceae (orchid) family. Cattleyas are native of South America from South of Costa Rica to Argentina. In the wild these orchids can be either epiphytic or terrestrial.
Cattleyas are extremely attractive because the lip, petals, and sepals have the same color. This makes the flower stand out in the plant.
There are two groups of cattleyas know as unifoliate and bifoliate. Cattleyas were named after the British botanist William Cattley in the 19th Century.
The plants grow tall, cylindrical, stalk-like, with ringed pseudobulbs. The pseudobulbs are conical, spindle-shaped, or cylindrical. In the upright growing plants, one or two leaves grow on the top of the stalk. The leaves are oblong, lanceolate, or elliptical. They are fleshy and have a prominent margin. They can be 1 foot to 5 feet talk.
The flowers bloom in yellow, lavender, pink, green, and brown. The flowers bloom in bunch or the stalk can have fewer flowers. The fruit is like a capsule holding many seeds.
Grow Cattleyas in pots or baskets. Use bark or cork as pot material. Use a good fertilizer every week during the growth season. Pot in intermediate to bright light.