Common Name: Cattleya of the Golden Land
Habitat: Brazil. Cattleya eldorado is found growing on trees in the Amazon basin near Manaus. The species grows on tall trees in close proximity to small rivers and in open vegetation near patches of sandy soil. Over collection and habitat destruction threaten this species.
Plant Size: Medium. Smooth, cylindrical pseudobulbs support a single leathery leaf with a rough-textured surface. Cattleya eldorado is fairly compact and rugged-looking. Pseudobulbs grow 3 to 5 inches tall and leaves are 4 to 6 inches long. A mature plant can be grown in a 4 inch (10 cm) pot.
Flower Size: 5 inches (17.5 cm)
Flower Description: Fragrant. The flowers of Cattleya eldorado exude a very distinct and pleasing fragrance. Flowers are light to medium pink in color with a darker lavender splotch on the lip. The throat is a golden yellow color. There is a lot of variation in color. Some forms are concolor (very pale) pink while others have a considerable amount of lavender coloration. Sometimes, the flowers do not open all the way. The short flower spike bears between one and three flowers.
Bloom Season: Summer. The bloom time varies widely from year to year in the wild. Experts think that the timing of rainfall may be what triggers flowering.
Growing Temperature: Warm to Hot. Cattleya eldorado prefers warmer night temperatures than most other Cattleyas (68-70 degrees F).
Additional Information: Give Cattleya eldorado a pronounced winter rest period with minimal watering when it is dormant. Growth begins in late winter or early spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Buds should form in new sheaths early in the summer. Roots form on the base of the new pseudobulb after flowering. Provide plenty of light and humidity all year. Repot when new roots begin to grow.
Cattleya eldorado is uncommon in collections and quality cultivars should be sought out. Several Brazilian orchid nurseries have quality seedlings available. Considerable color variation exists in the wild and concolor (light pink) and alba forms are known to exists.
Synonyms: Cattleya crocata, Cattleya quadircolor var. eldorado, Cattleya labiata var. eldorado, Cattleya macmorlandii, Cattleya trichopiliochila, Cattleya virginalis