In Bloom: Cattleya eldorado

This summer was extremely hard on my orchids and I lost quite a few valuable plants. When I moved my plants to the greenhouse this fall, I was not expecting any flowers at all. But then, nature never fails to surprise us. I noticed a few months ago that the new growth on my Cattleya eldorado was also developing a sheath. This plant (a C. eldorado semi alba x alba) had come to me, bare root, all the way from Brazil in spring of 2012. Since it had spent its blooming season, early summer, in establishing itself I, therefore, did not expect any blooms until next year.  C. eldorado, according to Arthur Chadwick, usually blooms in early summer but in some cases, if it develops a new growth after its summer blooming, it may also bloom in December: I think this is what is happening with my plant.

Francisco Miranda, an expert on Brazilian orchids, has the following opinion about C. eldorado’s blooming season:

[ C. edlorado's] flowering season is not very well marked and varies from year to year. Usually there is a blooming peak around November and a second, more intense blooming period between January and March. The blooming season seems to be strongly influenced by rainfall.

So, here are the pictures from this rarest of the Cattleya species and I am honored that it has decided to bloom in my greenhouse:

 

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