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Cattleya intermedia Intermediate Cattleya


Intermediate Cattleya , Cattleya intermedia


Cattleya intermedia Graham 1828

Common Name Intermediate Cattleya

Flower Size 5" [12.5 cm]

Found in central to southern to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in the Atlantic coastal forest where it is found on rocks and small trees near the sea or streams as a small to medium sized, cool to warm growing orchid with slender, cylindric, pseudobulbs with several, tubular, scarious bracts enveloping it and 2 to 4, apical, subopposite leaves that blooms in the spring or summer on a terminal, short to long stalked, few to several [3 to 7] flowered inflorecence with minute floral bracts and subtended by a conduplicate sheath all arising on a newly matured pseudobulb with heavy textured, long-lived, fragrant, color variable flowers.

The in situ shots are from Boia Ceia', Sao Paulo State, Brasil. These plants are plentiful in their specific environment which encompasses the exact area that condos by the sea are most often built. The sea gives way to the sand and then the sand gives way to vines and grasses and then to small bushes and then begins the hammock of stunted hardwoods with swales of tidal saltwater and freshwater runnoff. This area is extremely humid and hot and is bathed by spray from the crashing surf less than 20 yards away. Cattleya intermedia is found in these hammocks in vast quanities. I saw close to 500 just in a 30 acre area. Almost all were on trees at or just above eye-level. The branches and trunks were extremely damp and had lichen and mosses. There was a lot of standing water and mosquitoes and bromeliads were everywhere. All discussions about this species being extinct or rare in the wild is hogwash and it is not threatened by over-collection as stated by Bechtel Cribb in the Manual of Cultivated Orchids. It is important to note though that as this species grows in the seaside hammocks it could be majorly affected by condo development in the future. I was assurred by my Brazilian freinds that this species is commonly found all up and down the coast as long as the seaside hammock still exists.

Synonyms Cattleya amablis Lindley ex DuBuss 1878; Cattleya amethestina C. Morr. 1848; Cattleya amethystina C. Morren 1848; Cattleya aquinii Barb. Rodr. 1891; Cattleya candida hort.; Cattleya gibeziae Linden & Rodigas 1887; Cattleya ianthina hort. 1853; Cattleya intermedia var. amethystina (C.Morren ex Lem.) Fowlie 1977; Cattleya intermedia var. punctatissima Sander 1892; Cattleya intermedium Rchb.f 1861; Cattleya loddigesii Lindley var amethystina Lem 1853; Cattleya maritima Lindley 1836; Cattleya ovata Lindley 1836; Epidendrum intermedium Rchb.f 1861