Sunday, April 10, 2011
Laelia tenebrosa "Nicci"
My beautiful and flamboyant Laelia tenebrosa native to Brazil just finished it's flowering season - it's variety "Nicci" and in our climate it's blooming in autumn.
Laelia genus previously comprised more than 60 different species, but it has recently been revised and now contains only a few from Central America. Their growth habitat closely resembles that of Cattleya's and in cultivation they require similar conditions. They need well-drained mix and plenty of watering during growing time and then drier situations during dormant months.
The flowers of Laelia tenebrosa are large and showy( 19 cm/7 1/2 inches) , scented, wide open up to four blooms on each flower spike. Colors can vary and my "Nicci" variety displays beautiful bronze/purple blooms that loved by everyone, even though it's unusual color combination, being on the opposite side of the color wheel. Nature's creations...
This beautiful orchid was first documented in 1800's and it's origin's traced to small area of Espirito Santo state in Brazil, where it now considered virtually extinct. It grew in dense forests on large trees and that area of the rain forest now been totally destroyed. Most of the plants available today come from sub crosses or clones of old jungle plants. One really hopes that some original genes still left and breeders can recreate this magical orchid, to be enjoyed by everyone.