Cattleya intermedia var. Coerulea (Blue Lip)
Cattleya intermedia is native in central to southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in the Atlantic coastal forest where it is found on rocks and small trees near the sea or streams. This species is 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, sub opposite leaves that blooms in the spring or summer on a terminal, short to long-stalked, few to several (3 to 7) flowered inflorescence 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.
Besides the huge variation in terms of color and patterns on the flowers, the species has a fairly compact growth habit. Flowers can be up to 4" (10cm) or larger and borne 2-3 per inflorescence. But the main attraction of Cattleya intermedia is the variety of this single species. The typical flower is pale lavender pink with a lip that has a rich fuchsia mid lobe. Natural spread is on average about 3-½ (9cm) and flowers are generally quite flat. Petals and sepals can be narrow but choice examples have a fuller, rounder form. Some of the color forms seen in collections are orlata (round full lip opening with side lobes edged the same color as mid lobe), amethystina (nearly white flowers with soft pink midlobe), parthenia (pure white flowers), vinicolor (wine-red midlobe), coerulea (soft bluish flowers with slate-blue midlobe), and the peloric form aquinii (also known as flamea).
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