Common Name: King Leopold's Cattleya
Habitat: Brazil. This species is found in coastal forests below 300 feet (100 meters) in elevation in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Cattleya leopoldii grows on trees and shrubs near coastal sand dunes.
Plant Size: Large. Well grown plants can grow to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall. Plants have two or three leathery leaves on top of the slightly thickened pseudobulbs. The leaf margin is serrated and sharp.
Flower Size: 2 3/4 inches to 4 3/8 inches (7 to 11 cm).
Flower Description: Sweetly fragrant. The flower spikes of Cattleya leopoldii emerge from a green sheath. Flower color ranges from bronze-green to deep brown with spotting. Petals are somewhat longer than the sepals and have wavey margins. The lip is deep amethyst. The erect flower spike can have up to 20 (one report says 30) flowers.
Bloom Season: Mid-Summer to Fall
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Warm. There is a noticable diurnal temperature change in it's native habitat.
Additional Information: Grow Cattleya leopoldii with high humidity and a drier rest period in the winter. Use baskets or large pots and coarse, fast-draining potting mix. This species was once considered to be a variety of Cattleya guttata but is now classified as a separate species. Cattleya leopoldii var. alba has yellowish-green petals and sepals and a pure white lip. There is a dark color form called Cattleya leopoldii var. purpurea which is much darker than the typical species and has a brighter lip.
Synonyms: Cattleya guttata Lindley var leopoldii, Epidendrum eliatus var. leopoldi