Laelia bradei

Habitat: Brazil. Laelia bradei's distribution is limited to a few locations in the states of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo above 1200 meters in elevation. It grows in rocky cracks between 1200 and 1300 meters in elevation. Francisco Mirando reports that they "are very commonly found on sand and gravel crystalline deposits that accumulate in depressions of the ledges, which then act as small "pools" during the rainy season. These dry out during the several months of seasonal drought, but there is always a bit of moisture available to the root systems and so the plants survive these long periods with no rain."

Plant Size: Miniature. The pseudobulbs of Laelia bradei grow 2-4 cm tall and almost as wide. Leaves are thick and fleshy and grow 3-4 cm long. Overall, the plant height rarely exceeds 6-8 cm. Leaves are cupped and dark green or reddish if exposed to very intense light. Flowers are held slightly above the foliage.

Flower Size: 3/4 to 1 inch (2-2.5cm)

Flower Description: The flower spike of Laelia bradei is 5-6 cm tall and bears up to 3 flowers. Flowers are pale butter yellow to rich chrome yellow. The petals are broad when compared to their length.

Bloom Season: Summer

Growing Temperature: Intermediate

Additional Information: Laelia bradei is the smallest of all Laelias. In 1973, it was named in honor of A.C. Brade who did a great deal of research on rupicolous laelias in Brazil. Grow Laelia bradei like other rupicolous species. Use a well-drained inorganic potting media (Aliflor or Solite) and clay pots. This species can be grown in a south-facing windowsill.

Synonyms: Hoffmannseggella bradei; Sophronitis bradei


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