Cattleya mendelii is very characteristic among the Cattleyas of the labiata group, it has good size, good substance, and a large quantity of color variations. Usually, very little is written about this Cattleya.

It has a vigorous and compact growth habit. It foms the bulbs and spaths up to two years before flowering, which occurs profusely in the months of April to May. It is very difficult to find a specimen blooming outside that period of the year.

The lip has two white side lobes. The center is violet with a very attractive combination of colors. The yellow and purple veins of the lip merge to white. The lip is very fringed.

It grows high on the trees at elevations ranging from 1.200 meters to 1.800 meters above sea level. It is thus the Colombian Cattleya that can withstand the coldest temperatures of all.

The best specimens are found in the region around Málaga in the state of Santander (Southern regions on map). The variety coerulea comes from Oibá and Suratá from this same region. C. mendelii is found in the states of Santander and North Santander, also north of Boyaca.

It is a Cattleya that should not be divided if the division has less than 4 bulbs. It is generally a plant that is difficult to establish, although once established, it is a good grower.

There are quite of few varieties that have been found lately, although none has ever been completely white. The standard coloration has pinkish petals and sepals, white tube on the lip yellow veins that run inside the tube of the lip and finally a large dot at the apex of the lip. Some varieties are darker; however, a very dark clone has not been found.

The variety semi alba has also been well documented both with a small dot and a large purple dot at the tip of the lip. There are coerulea clones both dark and light colored. Finally, the variety concolor was discovered some 10 years ago; since. Only two other plants have been found.

Cattleya mendelii

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Article by: thomas Toulemonde thomas@suamena.com 
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