Common Name: Golden Yellow Cattleya Orchid
Habitat: Cattleya aurea is native to the states of states of Risaralda, Antioquia and Choco in Columbia. It grows on trees (usually trees with rough or fissured bark) between 300 and 1000 meters in elevation.
Plant Size: Medium. The plant resembles Cattleya labiata or any other typical unifoliate Cattleya orchid species. The upright pseudobulbs of Cattleya aurea have one green leaf.
Flower Size: 7 inches (17.5 cm)
Flower Description: A well grown Cattleya aurea plant can produce up to 5 or 6 flowers per growth. The flowers are large, well-formed and have an impressively marked broad lip. The flower petal color is usually yellow (compared to Cattleya dowiana's olive). Flowers are fragrant but short-lived.
Bloom Season: Spring
Growing Temperature: Intermediate
Additional Information: Cattleya aurea is very similar to Cattleya dowiana but comes from a different part of the world and blooms a few months later. This species is highly endangered in its home country due to habitat destruction and should not be purchased as a jungle-collected plant. Cattleya aurea grows well under typical Cattleya conditions and light. Some growers have reported difficulty keeping the plants growing for more than a few years. Perhaps as more seed-grown plants from greenhouses enter the trade the problem will lessen.
Synonyms: Cattleya chrysotaxa, Cattleya chrysotoxa, Cattleya dowiana var. aurea, Cattleya dowiana var. chrysotaxa, Cattleya dowiana var. chrysotoxa, Cattleya labiata dowiana aurea