Friday, August 10, 2018

Cattleya "Eleanor Roosevelt"

This orchid is the "Eleanor Roosevelt" variety and is in the Cattleya genus in the Orchidaceae family. For many years in the United States, this was the variety of orchid most commonly purchased for a high school prom or other special occasion. Here is a brief explanation of this beautiful flower from Wikipedia: Cattleya.
Epiphytic or terrestrial orchids with cylindrical rhizome from which the fleshy noodle-like roots grow. Pseudobulbs can be conical, spindle-shaped or cylindrical; with upright growth; one or two leaves growing from the top of them. The leaves can be oblong, lanceolate or elliptical, somewhat fleshy, with smooth margin. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme with few or several flowers. Flowers have sepals and petals free from each other; the lip or labellum (lowermost petal), usually has a different coloration and shape from the rest of the flower and covers in part the flower column forming a tube. There are four polliniums (bag-like organs that contain pollen). The fruit is a capsule with many small seeds.
We have tried a few times to grow orchids without much success. Of course, we have always lived in a very dry area such as the Salt River Valley in Arizona or on the side of a mountain in Utah and these places are not very conducive to the high humidity needed for orchids.

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