This Cattleya was discovered in 1886 and named by Reichenbach as Cattleya trianae variety schroederae in honor of Baron Schroeder. Later, Sander gave it the status of a species on its own.

This species is one of the least known of all Colombian Cattleya Many people in Colombia say that a good Cattleya schroederae is a poor Cattleya trianae. Indeed, because of its usually twisted dorsal sepal, narrow petals and long labellum, Cattleya schroederae does not have the status of other Cattleya in most collections.

It has however some very nice characteristics that make it highly desirable. The color was used and is still used to some extent to breed yellow Cattleya The lip has in general a very dark bright yellow to orange color. In rare cases, the throat becomes almost wine color.

The color of the petals is light mauve. The dark yellow color of the lip is passed on to its progeny while that of its petals and sepals is usually not. Flowering is impressive. In its natural habitat, plants of Cattleya schroederae can be seen clinging on lower tree branches with as many as nine flowers per spike. This amount of flowers on a single spike is only rivaled by Cattleya warscewiczii.

The color contrast between the pale rose and the deep yellow lip make it an unforgettable sight. The flowers have a very strong scent. It is sweet and particularly strong at noon and during hot days. This nice scent is one of the most distinguishing characteristics between schroederae and trianae.

Cattleya schroederae also grows in the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Range) while Cattleya trianae has a different habitat. Furthermore, the trumpet like lip with fringed margins can be used to set both species apart.

Flowering takes place in January in the middle of the dry season. While blooming, the plant nears desiccation, leaves shrink; the plant stagnates and looks like dying. Plants can be found in forest habitats with high relative humidity as well as fully exposed to sunrays growing on rocks.

Plants growing under forest habitats are larger and bulbs are more separated yielding bigger flowers. Plants that are more exposed to sunlight and air circulation have smaller, clumped and ridged bulbs but tend to give many more flowers per spike.

Cattleya schroederae has some interesting color variations. Many pictures seen on orchid books are misleading as the species is often confused with Cattleya trianae. This is one of the reasons Cattleya schroederae alba is supposed to be common. Only three or four alba are well known.

Besides the many natural color variations on the throat some varieties are worth mentioning. The variety anulata has a ring around the lip. There are also varieties with a purple dot on the lip. One of the most remarkable varieties is xanthina. This plant has an extraordinary deep yellow covering most of the lip and has possibly a great potential for breeding. Place text here

Cattleya schroederae

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Article by: thomas Toulemonde thomas@suamena.com 
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