From bud to bloom … one of my favorite flowering series of photographs of an orchid. Laelia (Cattleya) fidelensis is rather uncommon in cultivation. Its name comes from the place where it was first discovered: the Sao Fidelis mountains near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. That being said, the more precise location of collection is often reported as unknown, and I have not found any references to current wild populations.
Cattleya (Laelia) fidelensis is widely considered to be the natural hybrid of Cattleya (Laelia) perrinii and Cattleya (Laelia) bicalhoi. However, it has been noted that the plants “breed true” when selfed — that is, little variation in the offspring from the mother plant. One would expect more variation when a hybrid is selfed, so there is some lack of certainty on the species vs. hybrid status of Cattleya (Laelia) fidelensis (or Laelia x fidelensis, more properly). I have not selfed my plant, nor personally know anyone who has, so I cannot add more useful information here. As with many uncommon orchids, information is limited, and often repeated without clear sources.
We grow our Cattleya (Laelia) fidelensis similarly to our other Brazilian Laelia: in a clay pot with hydroton. It lives indoors, growing with the rupiculous Cattleya (Laelia), in a bright southeastern window with direct morning sun, and afternoon LED lights to supplement. The plant receives daily misting, and biweekly watering during the summer, with a drier winter rest when not in active growth.
Cattleya (Laelia) fidelensis blooms in August for us. It follows the sequence of producing a new growth, then flower spike (1-2 flowers), and new roots after flowering.
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