Habitat: Brazil. The few remaining wild plants of Laelia lobata grow on the surface of rocky cliffs facing the ocean near Rio de Janeiro.
Plant Size: Standard Cattleya size. Laelia lobata has cylindrical pseudobulbs that grows from a creeping rhizome. The plant has one long, leathery leaf that is held erect. The 16 inch flower spike produces 2 to 5 flowers.
Flower Size: 5 inches. (12.5 cm)
Flower Description: Fragrant. Cattleya-like flowers. The typical color form of Laelia lobata is lavender-purple with a dark amythyst lip with a yellow throat. The petals are broad and wavy.
Bloom Season: Spring or early summer
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Hot
Additional Information: Laelia lobata is endangered in the wild and all importation has been banned under CITES. Fortunately, the species is flourishing in private collections and can be purchased from orchid dealers.
Provide bright light with good air circulation. Water and fertilize heavily during the active growth. Provide less water during cooler months of the year. It has a reputation as a shy bloomer and prefers to be pot bound. Easy to grow and robust.
There is a white form available know as Laelia lobata var. alba. Several hybrids have used this species as one of the parents.
Synonyms: Bletia boothiana; Bletia lobata; Cattleya lobata; Hadrolaelia lobata; Laelia boothiana; Laelia grandis var purpurea; Laelia riveri; Laelia virens; Sophronitis lobata