Common Name: Velvety Cattleya
Habitat: Brazil. Cattleya velutina is native to plains and mountains in southern Brazil. Its habitat consists of growing on small brush and overlaps near Rio de Janiero with Cattleya bicolor. Summers are warm and winters cool with year-round rain fall.
Plant Size: Medium. The pseudobulbs of Cattleya velutina are tall, slender, and jointed and grow to 15 inches (25-40 cm) tall. Bifoliate. Two or three leathery leaves grow from the top of the pseudobulb.
Flower Size: 3 to 4 inches (7.6-10 cm)
Flower Description: Fragrant. The flowers of Cattleya velutina are a tawny yellow with maroon purple spots and purple lines that radiate from the base. The lip is yellowish-white with violet markings. Each flower stem can produce between one and four flowers (two is the most common). Flowers are long lasting and highly fragrant.
Bloom Season: Late Summer
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Hot
Additional Information: The quality of the flower of Cattleya velutina varies widely in this species and it is wise to purchase plants in flower. This species is rare in cultivation and few hybrids have been made with it as a parent. One source reports that the species is difficult to keep in collections.
Synonyms: Cattleya alutacea, Cattleya alutacea var. velutina, Cattleya fragrans