For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Orchid Show - Part 3

The Cattleya orchid is also called the “corsage orchid” because in the old days fashionable ladies used to sport an oversized Cattleya corsage to special events. Even though it is not so common to wear corsages anymore, the Cattleya orchid is still extremely popular among amateur and professional growers. They are perfect as cut flowers because they are long-lasting and come in an array of colors. The blooms are usually quite big; I’ve seen enormous Cattleya flowers that are as big as my face. (And I don’t have a small face by any standard!)
The discovery of Cattleya was an accident. In the nineteenth century, a moss and lichen collector just grabbed some random sturdy leaves in the forest as packing material to protect his collections en route from Brazil to England. A horticulturist, William Cattley, saw the strange packing material and decided to grow it.
Few years later, the strange plant produced some stunning blooms that rocked the world. The genus was therefore named Cattleya as a tribute to William Cattley, and the plant was then named Cattleya labiata. From then on, people started the crazy hunt for wild orchids in South America.
To this day, Cattleya orchids still define orchids; they are the benchmark of orchids. You may hear growers say “grow this orchid like Cattleya except a bit less light” or “this orchids need the Cattleya temperature.”
Because Cattleya species are founded throughout tropical Central and South America, these orchids like intermediate to warm temperatures (55 to 65°F/13 to 18°C in winter nights and 15°F/10°C or so warmer during the day) and medium bright light.
At home, it’s best to grow your Cattleya orchid by the southern, eastern or western windowsills. Provide as much light as it can take without burning the leaves; touch them to make sure they are not hot. When the plant receives its upper limit of light, it will show you a reddish tinge.
Since Cattleya orchids are epiphytes, they like their potting material to dry out between watering. Or if you live in humid area, you can even mount your orchid on a slab of wood or on the tree in your garden. That way, you would never over water your plant!
Information supplied by Everything Orchids.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Ahhhhhh my favourite flowers. I did not know the story of the leaves being used as packing and how Cattleya got its name. Interesting and informative post. Thanks Diane

Firefly said...

I missed the one in PE. Kinda forgot. Looking at these pics I'm sorry that I did.

Gaelyn said...

These are All so Beautiful! Very informative post Joan. But I think it's unfair that you had coffee and rusks without me.

Becky and Gary said...

Yum, Yum! Love them !!
They have got to be my favorites. I have one very similar to the 3rd yellow one, and its smell is a light lemon scent. Super post Joan.
That light post on my Saturday's reflection is indeed railroad related. The B&B is all that way too.

Becky said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Didn't know the history behind this flower.

Mary said...

What a fascinating story about the discovery of the Catteleya. I love that big orange one! All of them are gorgeous. That last pink one is very pretty, too.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Diane. There is not one orchad I have ever seen which is not beautiful, but I think that of roses too. I love flowers.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh what a pity you missed it Jonker. Maybe next year!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn, I have to agree with you.

At least I was thinking of you when I had them. :) Have you baked any yet?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I know how much you like them Becky. That lemon scented one must be wonderful when it blooms.

Thanks for the info on the light. They must be a tradition all over the world. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky (Florida). One learns so much about these thing while doing research.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This site I found with all this info on is a very good one Mary. They have all kinds of interesting things on it and very helpful to people who want to keep them.

Those are my two favorites too plus the red and white striped one.

Gaelyn said...

No, I haven't made any Rusks yet. Maybe when we get back home and have more room and time.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

The winter would be a good time to try things like this. Also, they are delicious with hot chocolate. :)

JM said...

Wow! All are gorgeous but the ones on top are definitely winners!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

For sure!! The two I bought had such a wonderful smell when they were blooming too. Thanks Jose.

Rambling Woods said...

I didn't know anything about them... Thanks Joan

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Michelle.

Ida said...

Was out of the blogging world and is doing some catching-up now! Thanks for your wonderful photos, facts and links to orchid growing!

Noudat ek al die feite het, sal ek dit MOET probeer.

Ns. ons eerste reëns het geval, en my oulike man het in sy verlof-tyd spreiers in ons hele tuin installeer!! I love summer ♥♥♥

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Sometimes we are just too busy to get to blogs. :) You are welcome Ida, glad you enjoyed the post.

Spreiers kom altyd handig in. :)