Cattleya bicolor

Common Name: Bicolored Cattleya


Habitat: Brazil. Cattleya bicolor is found growing in the Brazilian states of Distrito Federal, Goias, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Plant Size: Medium to Large. Cattleya bicolor has long, ribbed, cylindrical pseudobulbs that are topped with two oblong leaves. This species can grow to be a large robust plant. The larger the plant, the more flowers will be produced per spike.

Flower Size: 4 inches (10 cm).

Flower Description: Very Fragrant. The petals and sepals of Cattleya bicolor are a mahogany-brown with purple overtones. The lip is rosy pink or magenta. Flower color can vary considerably between individuals. Sometimes the petals and sepals are olive-green in color. Flowers are long-lived and of heavy substance. The flower spike emerges from a healthy basal sheath and has between one and seven flowers beautifully displayed.

Bloom Season: Fall, Winter, Spring

Growing Temperature: Cool to Warm. Cattleya bicolor needs a large well drained pot or basket, good ventilation and sunlight. The potting media should be open, apply adequate water and fertilizer when growing. Reduce watering when the plant rests after flowering.

Additional Information: Few plant breeders have used this species to make new hybrids.

Three sub-species are found in the wild:

  • Cattleya bicolor ssp. bicolor - found in the mountains near Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
  • Cattleya bicolor ssp. minasgeraisensis - found near Minas Gerais
  • Cattleya bicolor ssp. brasiliensis - found in Central Brazil, Goias, District Federal, and Minas Gerais


  • Cattleya bicolor var. canastrensis
  • Cattleya bicolor var. crassifolia
  • Cattleya bicolor var. brazilensis has dark, wine-red petals and sepals.
  • Cattleya bicolor var. coerulea has a blue lip.
  • Cattleya bicolor var. grossii is another richly colored variety.

Synonyms: Cattleya bicolor var. caerulea, Cattleya bicolor subsp. minasgaerensis, Cattleya bicolor var. lewisii, Cattleya bicolor var. mearuresiana, Cattleya bicolor var. olocheilos, Cattleya bicolor var. splendida, Cattleya bicolor var. wrigleyana, Cattleya dupontii, Cattleya grossii, Cattleya measuresiana, Cattleya tetraploidea, Epidendrum bicolor, Epidendrum iridee



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