Common Name: Percival's Cattleya or Christmas Cattleya
Habitat: Columbia, Venezuela. The original collector of the species found it "at an altitude sometimes exceeding 4000 feet; it invariable grows on rocks, no trees, and in full exposure to the sun, generally in the vicinity of river courses, which in the rainy season, afford abundant moisture to the plant."
Plant Size: Medium (smaller than many other unifoliate cattleyas). Unifoliate. Cattleya percivaliana has a tendency to make multiple growths and has the potential to create large specimen plants.
Flower Size: 4 to 5 inches (10-12.7 cm)
Flower Description: Cattleya percivaliana is fragrant (although not everyone considers it to be pleasant). Two to four flowers are produced from each sheath. The sepals and petals are rose-lilac in color with a wash of amethyst-purple. A crimson-purple blotch is featured prominently on the front of the lip. There are also maroon and strong yellow coloration on the lip in the tube.
Bloom Season: Winter (around the Christmas holiday).
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Warm
Additional Information: Cattleya percivaliana is often called the "Christmas Orchid" because of its tendency to bloom in late December. New growth can begin immediately after flowering or the plant may rest until spring. Flower sheaths are formed during the summer but flower buds do not form until October. Provide bright light and good air circulation for this species. Less watering is required by this species than other of the large-flowered cattleyas. Easy to grow.
There are several color varieties of the species including alba and semi-alba forms. Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' HCC/AOS is an awarded cultivar and represents the best the species has to offer in the way of color and form.
Synonyms: Cattleya labiata var. percivaliana