Common Name: Amethyst Cattleya
Habitat: Brazil. Cattleya amethystoglossa grows in a warm, humid environment near sea-level in the State of Bahia (and possibly the State of Espirito Santo) near the Atlantic coast. Its roots cling to palm tree trunks, rock formations or the highest branches of very tall trees where there are high light levels and good air circulation. The native habitat of this formerly widespread species is rapidly disappearing because the areas are being converted to agriculture and the coastal and drier interior forests are being cut down.
Plant Size: Large. Cattleya amethystoglossa is one of the tallest Cattleya orchid species. The tall, cylindrical pseudobulbs grow about 3 feet (1 meter) tall and are topped by two leaves. Cattleya amethystoglossa is the most robust of all bifoliate Cattleyas.
Flower Size: 4 inches (10 cm). The flowers of Cattleya amethystoglossa grow on flower spikes that have between 10 and 30 blooms.
Flower Description: Cattleya amethystoglossa is fragrant. The petals and sepals are light lavender to pale rose with mauve or magenta spots. The amount of spotting varies widely between individuals. The lip is bright magenta and partially wraps around the column. The throat varies from white to pale gold.
Bloom Season: Fall, Winter, Early Spring
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Hot
Additional Information: Give Cattleya amethystoglossa a warm spot in the greenhouse and water and feed heavily during active growth. Reduce watering when the pseudobulbs mature and let the plant get a rest. Provide bright light for best flowering. This species is closely related to Cattleya guttata in many ways but differs in flower color and other minor botanical details. There have been a few coerulea and alba forms found in the wild.
Synonyms: Cattleya amethystoglossa var. lilacina, Cattleya guttata keteleerii, Cattleya guttatta lilacina, Cattleya guttata prinzii, Cattleya guttata var. prinzii, Cattleya purpurina, Epidendrum amethestoglosum, Epidendrum elatius var. prinzii