Cattleya trianae (Lind. & Rchb. fil), also known as Flor de Mayo ("May flower") or "Christmas orchid",[1] is a plant of the family Orchidaceae. It grows as an epiphytic orchid, with succulent leaves, endemic to Colombia where it was nominated as the national flower in November 1936. That year, the National Academy of History of Argentina asked the Latin American countries to participate in an exhibition with the representative flowers of each country. The Colombian government gave the botanist Emilio Robledo the task to designate the most representative flowering plant of the country.

Flor de Mayo
Cattleya trianae.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Cattleya
Subgenus: Cattleya subg. Cattleya
Section: Cattleya sect. Cattleya
C. trianae
Binomial name
Cattleya trianae

The choice of Cattleya trianae was made for two main reasons:

  • The lip is yellow, blue and red, in the same way as the Colombian flag.
  • The species was named after the 19th century Colombian botanist José Jerónimo Triana.

The species grows at 1500–2000 meters above sea level, in Cloud forests. It is an endangered species due to habitat destruction.[2]

The diploid chromosome number of C. trinae has been determined as 2n = 40. the haploid chromosome number has been determined as n = 20.[3]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Franco, Marcela; Giovany Guevara; Neftali Mesa; Gloria Urueña (June 2007). "Hardening of the national flower of Colombia, the threatened Cattleya trianae (Orchidaceae), from in vitro culture with previous invigoration phase". Revista de Biología Tropical. 55 (2): 681–691. ISSN 0034-7744. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  3. ^ page 251 of L. P. Felix and M. Guerra: "Variation in chromosome number and the basic number of subfamily Epidendroideae (Orchidaceae)" Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 163(2010)234—278. The Linnean Society of London. Downloaded October 2010 from

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