Common Names: Albescent Laelia
Habitat: Mexico. Laelia albida common in the states of in the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla. Laelia albida grows high in the mountains in mixed oak-pine forests at elevations of 7000 to 8000 feet (2500-3000 meters). They usually grow on bark without the benefit of moss. There is a distinct cool season in the winter when the plants are dormant. Plants from the state of Oaxaca have the most diversity in flower size and color.
Plant Size: Medium. Pseudobulbs of Laelia albida are conical and wrinkle with age. Two to three dark green linear leaves grow from the top of the pseudobulb.
Flower Size: 2 to 3 inches (5-7.5 cm). Plants of Laelia albida from the northwestern part of the habitat produce very short inflorescences that hardly extends beyond the leaves and the flowers are smaller than populations from other parts of the range.
Flower Description: Fragrant (like primrose or honey). White or white suffused with pink. There are splash petal forms available. There are three raised ridges on the lip that are yellow in color. The midlobe is rosy-purple. The flower stem of Laelia albida ranges from 15 inches to 24 inches in length and bears between 2 and 9 flowers. There are white, pink, salmon, and rose clones of Laelia albida available.
Bloom Season: Fall, Winter. The peak flowering season is between November and January.
Growing Temperature: Cool to Warm
Additional Information: Needs a bright, cool dormant period during the winter to thrive. Keep Laelia albida dry during the winter. Grows well mounted or in pot with coarse bark media. Needs excellent drainage. Hardy and temperature tolerant. It can be grown outside in frost-free areas like Southern California. Laelia albida will grow acceptably well in a Cattleya greenhouse if it can be kept on the cool side during the winter.
Synonyms: Amalia albida, Bletia albida, Cattleya albida, Laelia candida, Laelia discolor