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Cattleya (/ˈkætliə/)[2] is a genus of orchids from Costa Rica south to Argentina.[1] The genus is abbreviated C in trade journals.[3]

Cattleya labiata Orchi 1013.jpg
Cattleya labiata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Subtribe: Laeliinae
Genus: Cattleya
Type species
Cattleya labiata
  • Sophronia Lindl.
  • Sophronitis Lindl.
  • Maelenia Dumort.
  • Lophoglotis Raf.
  • × Sophrocattleya Rolfe
  • Eunannos Porta & Brade
  • Hoffmannseggella H.G.Jones
  • Dungsia Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • × Hadrocattleya V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • × Hadrodungsia V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • Hadrolaelia (Schltr.) Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • × Microcattleya V.P.Castro & Chiron
  • Microlaelia (Schltr.) Chiron & V.P.Castro
  • Cattleyella Van den Berg & M.W.Chase
  • Schluckebieria Braem
  • × Brasicattleya Campacci
  • Brasilaelia Campacci
  • Chironiella Braem



Epiphytic or terrestrial orchids with cylindrical rhizome from which the fleshy noodle-like roots grow. Pseudobulbs can be conical, spindle-shaped or cylindrical; with upright growth; one or two leaves growing from the top of them. The leaves can be oblong, lanceolate or elliptical, somewhat fleshy, with smooth margin. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme with few or several flowers. Flowers have sepals and petals free from each other; the lip or labellum (lowermost petal), usually has a different coloration and shape from the rest of the flower and covers in part the flower column forming a tube. There are four polliniums (bag-like organs that contain pollen). The fruit is a capsule with many small seeds.[4][5][6]


The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after horticulturalist William Cattley. Cattley obtained a specimen of then unnamed Cattleya labiata from William Swainson who had discovered the new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1817. The plant successfully bloomed under the care of Cattley and it became the type specimen from which Lindley described C. labiata.[7]

Currently accepted species and subgeneric division within genus Cattleya are:[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Subgenus CattleyaEdit

Section CattleyaEdit

Series CattleyodesEdit
Series HadrolaeliaEdit
Series MicrolaeliaEdit
Cattleya purpurata
Series ParvifloraeEdit
Series SophronitisEdit

Section LawrenceanaeEdit

Subgenus CattleyellaEdit

Subgenus IntermediaeEdit

Subgenus MaximaeEdit

Natural hybridsEdit

Currently accepted natural hybrids are:[13]


This section is incomplete.

Hybrids of Cattleya and other genera are placed in the following nothogenera:


Cattleya mossiae fo. coerulea
  • Light
Cattleyas need light, but not direct sunlight; in case of intense sunlight, shade must be provided.[14]
  • Temperature
Day temperatures must be between 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) and night temperatures not lower than 10-12 °C (50-53.6 °F).[14]
  • Humidity
Must be between 40-70% with good ventilation; however plants must not be exposed to air currents.[15]
  • Watering
Water only if substrate is dry. It can be done once a week, but it all depends on the environmental conditions and the season.[15]
  • Fertilizing
Cattleyas can survive without fertilizing. However, it is advisable to use nitrogen-based fertilizers without urea; fertilizers must be applied during the growth season.[15] To avoid salt accumulation in the substrate, water thoroughly between fertilizer applications.[15]

In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ a b "Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal botanic Gardens Kew. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ "Alphabetical list of standard abbreviations of all generic names occurring in current use in orchid hybrid registration as at 31st December 2007" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society.
  4. ^ Buzatto, Cristiano Roberto; Ferreira, Priscila Porto Alegre; Welker, Cassiano Aimberê Dorneles; Seger, Guilherme Dubal dos Santos; Hertzog, Anelise; Singer, Rodrigo B. (2010). "O gênero Cattleya Lindl. (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae) no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil". Revista Brasileira de Biociências (in Portuguese). 8 (4). ISSN 1980-4849.
  5. ^ Withner, C. (1988). The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. Volume 1: The Cattleyas. Timber Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9780881920994.
  6. ^ Schweinfurth, C., "Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru", Fieldiana, Botany 30(3): 535
  7. ^ "Cattleya, Queen of the Orchids: The Showy Cattleya, Queen of the Orchids, BEGINNERS' HANDBOOK - XV". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ Van den Berg, Cássio (2014). "Reaching a compromise between conflicting nuclear and plastid phylogenetic trees: a new classification for the genus Cattleya (Epidendreae; Epidendroideae; Orchidaceae)". Phytotaxa. 186 (2). doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.186.2.2. ISSN 1179-3163.
  9. ^ "Laelia gracilis - IOSPE PHOTOS". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Cattleya hispidula - IOSPE PHOTOS". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Cattleya gracilis (Pabst) Van den Berg — The Plant List". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  12. ^ van den Berg, Cássio (2016). "Nomenclatural notes on Laeliinae-VI. Further combinations in Cattleya (Orchidaceae)". Neodiversity. 9 (1): 4–5. doi:10.13102/neod.91.2.
  13. ^ a b "Cattleya - World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b Schoser, Gustav (1993). Orchid Growing Basics. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 64. ISBN 9780806903620.
  15. ^ a b c d "Cattleyas for the Beginner - Part 1". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  16. ^ Beautiful Plants – Proust's Cattleya Orchid
  17. ^ Chadwick, A. A. & Chadwick, Arthur E. (2006). The Classic Cattleyas. Portland OR: Timber Press. pp. 25–41. ISBN 978-0-88192-764-1.
  18. ^ IMDbTitle:1657507

External linksEdit