Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Cattleya



English Name:


Common Name:

Florist's Orchid

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Orchidaceae

Name in English: The Orchid Family

The Plant

Origin: from Costa Rica to tropical South America.

Growth Habit: Pseudo bulbs long with one or two leathery leaves at the top. Because they are epiphytic, they have developed water-storage organs, called pseudo bulbs, and have large, fleshy roots covered with a spongy, water-retentive velamen

Flower: flowers of the hybrids can vary in size from 5 cm to 15 cm or more. They occur in all colors except true blue and black

Blooming Period: Most cattleya produce one new flush of growth annually, and each new pseudo bulb should produce flowers that same growing season, often in late summer or winter.

Leaf: linear


home or a greenhouse, corsage wedding work

Care and Handling

Soil: Use a medium shredded fir bark or small to medium lava rock. Another recipe would be 1 part of sphagnum moss to 2 parts of osmunda (fern root). They are accustomed to being dry at the roots between waterings, and therefore should be potted in very porous, free-draining media.

Amount of water: Drench the potting mix and let it become moderately dry between waterings. Use warm water.

Nutrition: Use a fertilizer specifically designed for orchids every two to three weeks.

Special handling: High humidity -Does best in bright indirect sunlight coming from the South/East

Special feature/remarks:

In 2009, the genus Sophronitis was merged into Cattleya. Cattleyas are divided into two groups according to the number of leaves arising from the pseudo bulbs: unifoliate and bifoliate.

The biggest mistake most people make with cattleyas is not supplying enough light for the plant to bloom well and/or over watering. Watch the pseudo bulbs—a plump lead pseudo bulb indicates a well-hydrated plant.