Cattleya labiata (Corsage Orchid, Queen of Orchids)

Native to Central and Southern America, Corsage Orchids produce showy purple flowers with yellow centers that persist up to 8 weeks. They are rhizomatous, occasionally dividing under adequate conditions. These monocots require fairly high (fifty percent, 50%) humidity and loose soils (or some equivalent) to survive.

Cattleya labiata (Corsage Orchid, Queen of Orchids)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 10-12
Height: 7-60 centimeters (3-24 inches) tall
Diameter: 7-60 centimeters (3-24 inches) wide
Growth Rate: slow to moderate, mostly occurs in spring
Age: perennial
Root System: aerial, thick, fleshy, wrap around substrates if not grown in soil, covered with a water-retentive material (likely a cuticle)
Family: Orchidaceae
Subspecies: var. dowiana, var. aurea, and thousands others

Tolerates: some shade
Problems (major): picky growing requirements
Problems (minor): slugs, snails, thrips, scale, mealy bug (use probisci to drain nutrients from the stems, eventually killing plants if not detected), spider mites
Poisonous: non-toxic to cats and dogs

Soil requirements: prefers specific epiphytic orchid soil mixes or coarse redwood or fir bark
Air requirements: prefers good air circulation (epiphytic) roots
Watering requirement: moderate, add tepid water in the morning, allow to dry out before watering again
Sun requirement: partial shade (performs best in east window sills and eastern/southern window sills with shade)

Leaf size: a singular, large leaf per plant (sometimes appear as many due to division of pseudobulbs (stems from rhizomes))
Leaf shape: arise from pseudobulbs (stems which store water and food), oblong or obovate, dull green
Flowering frequency: year-round indoors
Flower color(s): all except blue, primarily purple with some yellow
Flower gimmick: none
Flower spike: naked stems
Petals/Sepals: large, showy, yellow/cream/white to light/medium purple, sepals somewhat rectangular, petals ruffled
Lip/Column: very ruffled, yellow at the center
Stigma/Anthers: located deep inside the column (in the lip), under the anther cap
Epiphyte: yes (sometimes “lithophytes”, which grow on rocks instead of trees or some equivalent)
Roots: aerial, fleshy, rhizomatous
Daytime temperature: 21-29 degrees Celsius (70-85 degrees Fahrenheit)
Nighttime temperature: 12-16 degrees Celsius (55-60 degrees Fahrenheit)

Notable characteristics:
The flowers have light purple/pink petals and sepals with a dark purple lip and a yellow anther cap.

These are usually grown in greenhouses or in homes for aesthetic appeal.

Sources used:

Corsage Orchids at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Corsage Orchids at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s greenhouses

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is
appropriately cited first.


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