This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This is a strong growing plant, with a single dark green leaf on a bulb from six inches to a foot long. In growth, it is like Cattleya, as are most of the Brazilian Laelias. The flowers in the sepals and petals are from pure white to rose; lip crimson, or purplish crimson; flowers from two to five, about five inches in diameter, and last four weeks in bloom if kept dry. Blooms from May to August. There are many varieties of this beautiful Laelia, and are called in European catalogues after the one who first blooms them. L. Russelliana, L. Brysiana and others, are but sports of L. purpurata.
Rio de Janeiro. Has reddish bulbs and dark green leaves; reddish on the back. Blooms in October, with four or five blooms on a stem; flowers four inches in diameter; sepals and petals light purple, lip crimson. I have three or four varieties of this beautiful, free blooming Laelia. Some grow in pots, and some on the original wood from Brazil.
This is also a strong grower, often over eighteen inches high. Has flowers from blush to dark rosy crimson in the sepals and petals, lip purple. There are many varieties of L. elegans, but all are fine. It must be a scarce variety even in Brazil, as the price both there and in Europe continues high.
This has slender bulbs from four to six inches long, with one stiff leaf. The flower stem is about a foot long, with from four to eight reddish orange flowers, about two inches in diameter. It is a very gay flower, and keeps in bloom a long time. It is a very hard variety to import, as if once dried too much they are hard to start. The bulbs are reddish.
In growth like L. cinnabarina, but the bulbs are light green; flowers about 1½ inch in diameter, light rosy purple. Has about six flowers on a stem.
There are many other species of Brazilian Laelia, but I have not bloomed them: L. praestans, L. Schilleriana, L. grandis, L. gigan-tea, L. xanthina, L. Stelzneriana, and others are beautiful and well worthy of cultivation.