Orchid (Cattleya maxima)

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Posted by Australis (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Zone 10b) on Feb 10, 2019 3:11 AM

Bill made some informative comments in The thread "Our Orchid blooms in February 2019 💕" in Orchids forum regarding the lowland and highland forms of C. maxima and gave me permission to reproduce them here:

BigBill said:When it comes to Cattleya maxima, they are all judged as Cattleya maxima! We don't distinguish between the two.

However it is generally said that the upland plants generally produce 3-5 flowers and they tend to be of darker color and better form. Flowers of lowland plants number between 12-15, are more floppy and tend to be from white to pink with darker veins in the lip.

In looking over recent awards, we find a clone, 'Chadwick's Dark'. It had five flowers on a single inflorescence. I think we could assume that it was an upland clone. It received an AM of 86 points!! That was in February of 2018.

If I look at an award from 2013 to 'Peruvian Beauty', I would assume that it was a lowland clone. It got an 82 point AM with 36 flowers and one bud on two inflorescences! I see the color to be a medium pink/lavender. The color of 'Chadwick's Dark' was described as being pink, overlain with darker pink! No where in the records of awards could I find any reference to lowland form or upland form.

Any judge worth his weight in salt better be familiar with the differences or be good enough to discover them while doing research. No maxima should ever be screened for low flower count, say 4 versus 12 because it could be the upland form where the flower count would be proper.


Referring to the size of the pseudobulbs between the two forms:

BigBill said:.. I [found] in my research that the upland bulbs of maxima tend to be shorter. However, the difference listed for bulb girth and length was not terribly different. And then when you consider how much culture can impact the vegetative parameters, I would be reluctant to make that call. PLUS keep in mind that in today's world of Cattleyas, there is a great deal of tetraploidy. Tetraploids would tend to have shorter and thicker bulbs with thicker, rounder leaves.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Our Orchid blooms in February 2019 💕 by Ursula Feb 20, 2019 6:22 PM 189
Our Orchid blooms in September 2018 by Ursula Oct 1, 2018 7:11 AM 262
Our Orchid blooms in December 2017 by Ursula Dec 31, 2017 11:03 PM 427
Our Orchid blooms in April 2017 by Ursula May 1, 2017 7:16 AM 232
Our Orchid blooms in May 2014 by Ursula Jun 1, 2014 8:09 AM 272
Our Orchid Blooms in December 2013 by Ursula Dec 31, 2013 9:11 PM 275
Our Orchid blooms in April 2013 by Ursula Jun 12, 2013 12:03 PM 238
March Orchid blooms in 2013, almost Spring time! by Ursula Apr 6, 2013 3:48 AM 193
Our Orchid blooms in May 2012 by Ursula Jun 1, 2012 5:51 AM 174
Our Orchid blooms in April 2012 by Ursula Apr 30, 2012 8:01 PM 132

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