Monday, May 24, 2010

Cattleya Empress Bells

Cattleya Empress BellsThe collection that I maintain in Sonoma has some treasures such as this Cattleya Empress Bells I just discovered. I must have looked at it at some point but there were others that needed more urgent attention. This week it bloomed and that got me to take another look at it.

The tag said simply "Empress Bell" so I used the RHS Grex name search to verify the name and find more information about the plant. That gave me two possible crosses, 'Empress Belle' and 'Empress Bells'.

Since I had an open flower, I went to Google looking for pictures. That can be a bit unreliable, but I was able to find a good picture of Cattleya Empress Bells that matches the flower I have.

Cattleya Empress BellsNow it became interesting. This is not some random Cattleya hybrid, it was developed by Clint McDade and registered in 1952. It is Cattleya Bow Bells x Edithiae.

The pseudobulb with the flower was very dried out as was the whole plant. Normally I would wait until Lillian can enjoy the flower, but I thought I should not wait. Roll over the plant picture to see what I started with.

When I un-potted the plant I found that the plant had rescued itself. Like the whole collection it had gone through a period of neglect and over watering in 2008. All the roots from before were dead. Since it had been watered on a more proper schedule it had developed new roots. There were great roots from the single pseudobulb even though the pseudobulb itself looked terrible. I decided that it would be better to not have it try to support the whole plant so I trimmed it to two pseudobulbs. I am hoping that it will now plump and a new growth will start.

1 comment:

  1. Plants with significant pseudobulbs are tough. White Cattleya hybrids are usually wonderfully fragrant.