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Cattleya labiata Orchi 1013.jpg
Cattleya labiata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Subtribe: Laeliinae
Genus: Cattleya
Type species
Cattleya labiata
  • Sophronia Lindl.
  • Sophronitis Lindl.
  • Maelenia Dumort.
  • Lophoglotis Raf.
  • × Sophrocattleya Rolfe
  • Eunannos Porta & Brade
  • Hoffmannseggella H.G.Jones
  • Dungsia Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • × Hadrocattleya V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • × Hadrodungsia V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • Hadrolaelia (Schltr.) Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • × Microcattleya V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • Microlaelia (Schltr.) Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • Cattleyella Van den Berg & M.W.Chase
  • Schluckebieria Braem
  • × Brasicattleya Campacci
  • Brasilaelia Campacci
  • Chironiella Braem

Cattleya (/ˈkætliə/)[2] is a genus of orchids from Costa Rica south to Argentina.[1] The genus is abbreviated C in trade journals.[3]


Epiphytic or terrestrial orchids with cylindrical rhizome from which the fleshy noodle-like roots grow. Pseudobulbs can be conical, spindle-shaped or cylindrical; with upright growth; one or two leaves growing from the top of them; the leaves can be oblong, lanceolate or elliptical, somewhat fleshy, with smooth margin. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme with few or several flowers. Flowers have sepals and petals free from each other; the lip or labellum (lowermost petal), usually has a different coloration and shape from the rest of the flower and covers in part the flower column forming a tube. There are four polliniums (bag-like organs that contain pollen); the fruit is a capsule with many small seeds.[4][5][6]


The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after horticulturalist William Cattley. Cattley obtained a specimen of then unnamed Cattleya labiata from William Swainson who had discovered the new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1817; the plant successfully bloomed under the care of Cattley and it became the type specimen from which Lindley described C. labiata.[7]

Currently accepted species and subgeneric division within genus Cattleya are:[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Subgenus Cattleya[edit]

Section Cattleya[edit]

Series Cattleyodes[edit]
Series Hadrolaelia[edit]
Series Microlaelia[edit]
Cattleya purpurata
Series Parviflorae[edit]
Series Sophronitis[edit]

Section Lawrenceanae[edit]

Subgenus Cattleyella[edit]

Subgenus Intermediae[edit]

Subgenus Maximae[edit]

Natural hybrids[edit]

Currently accepted natural hybrids are:[13]


This section is incomplete.

Hybrids of Cattleya and other genera are placed in the following nothogenera:


Cattleya mossiae fo. coerulea
  • Light
Cattleyas need light, but not direct sunlight; in case of intense sunlight, shade must be provided.[14]
  • Temperature
Day temperatures must be between 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) and night temperatures not lower than 10-12 °C (50-53.6 °F).[14]
  • Humidity
Must be between 40-70% with good ventilation; however plants must not be exposed to air currents.[15]
  • Watering
Water only if substrate is dry. It can be done once a week, but it all depends on the environmental conditions and the season.[15]
  • Fertilizing
Cattleyas can survive without fertilizing. However, it is advisable to use nitrogen-based fertilizers without urea; fertilizers must be applied during the growth season.[15] To avoid salt accumulation in the substrate, water thoroughly between fertilizer applications.[15]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal botanic Gardens Kew. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ "Alphabetical list of standard abbreviations of all generic names occurring in current use in orchid hybrid registration as at 31st December 2007" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society.
  4. ^ Buzatto, Cristiano Roberto; Ferreira, Priscila Porto Alegre; Welker, Cassiano Aimberê Dorneles; Seger, Guilherme Dubal dos Santos; Hertzog, Anelise; Singer, Rodrigo B. (2010). "O gênero Cattleya Lindl. (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae) no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil". Revista Brasileira de Biociências (in Portuguese). 8 (4). ISSN 1980-4849.
  5. ^ Withner, C. (1988). The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. Volume 1: The Cattleyas. Timber Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9780881920994.
  6. ^ Schweinfurth, C., "Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru", Fieldiana, Botany 30(3): 535
  7. ^ "Cattleya, Queen of the Orchids: The Showy Cattleya, Queen of the Orchids, BEGINNERS' HANDBOOK - XV". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ Van den Berg, Cássio (2014). "Reaching a compromise between conflicting nuclear and plastid phylogenetic trees: a new classification for the genus Cattleya (Epidendreae; Epidendroideae; Orchidaceae)". Phytotaxa. 186 (2). doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.186.2.2. ISSN 1179-3163.
  9. ^ "Laelia gracilis - IOSPE PHOTOS". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Cattleya hispidula - IOSPE PHOTOS". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Cattleya gracilis (Pabst) Van den Berg — The Plant List". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  12. ^ van den Berg, Cássio (2016). "Nomenclatural notes on Laeliinae-VI. Further combinations in Cattleya (Orchidaceae)". Neodiversity. 9 (1): 4–5. doi:10.13102/neod.91.2.
  13. ^ a b "Cattleya - World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b Schoser, Gustav (1993). Orchid Growing Basics. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 64. ISBN 9780806903620.
  15. ^ a b c d "Cattleyas for the Beginner - Part 1". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  16. ^ Beautiful Plants – Proust's Cattleya Orchid
  17. ^ Chadwick, A. A. & Chadwick, Arthur E. (2006). The Classic Cattleyas. Portland OR: Timber Press. pp. 25–41. ISBN 978-0-88192-764-1.
  18. ^ IMDbTitle:1657507

External links[edit]