Common Name: Forbes' Cattleya
Habitat: Brazil. Cattleya forbesii is found growing near streams and the sea coast from sea level to 200 meters in elevation. They grow on trees, bushes and rocks in swamps in the State of de Janeiro. The species is commonly found in Rio de Janeiro State in shrubby coastal forests near the beach or in slope forests inside the City of Rio de Janeiro.
Plant Size: Medium. Bifoliate. Pseudobulbs are slightly swollen and have 2 (rarely 3) leaves at the top.
Flower Size: 4 1/2 inches (6-11 cm)
Flower Description: The flower stalk of Cattleya forbesii grows between 3 inches to 6 inches (9 cm to 15 cm) long and bears 1 to 6 flowers. The fragrant, waxy flowers are long-lived. Petals and sepals are star-shaped, thin and quite flat. Its flower colors vary from green to light tan, and sometimes have a pink tint. The lip is the most colorful part of the flower, being white with red stripes and a yellow throat. Unfortunately, Cattleya forbesii is one of the least colorful and showy species, but is still worth growing.
Bloom Season: Fall, Winter, early Spring.
Growing Temperature: Intermediate, Warm
Additional Information: Cattleya forbessii is readily available and extremely easy to grow. This species is best grown on cork or tree fern slabs or potted in a coarse, fast-draining media. Provide bright light and a warm summer growing season. High humidity is preferred. Let the plant rest a little during the winter after it finishes flowering.
Cattleya forbesii shares the same habitat as Cattleya harrisoniana and hybridization between the two species is rather common in the wild and is called Cattleya x venosa. In some areas, there are more hybrid plants than either of the two species.
Synonyms: Cattleya fulva, Cattleya isopetala, Cattleya pauper, Cattleya vestalis, Epidendrum forbesii, Epidendrum pauper, Maelenia paradoxa