Cattleya Mendelii, a beautiful species from South America, flowers in April or May. Color white and crimson; will do well in a basket, and on no account over-pot this variety.
Cattleya Mossiae; this fine, old species is perhaps the best known of this genus, and should be in every collection. It blooms in early spring and lasts a long time in perfection if kept cool and dry. It will do well on a block if room is limited, and, suspended among the palms, will grow finely.
Cattleya Trianae; this is one of the most extensively grown species of the genus. Flowering as it does during the autumn and winter months, it is a general favorite with all; can be grown on a block.
Cattleya Percivaliana is a fine winter-flowering variety from South America, grows best in a basket or pot, profuse bloomer under proper treatment; should be in every collection.
Cattleya Bowringiana, a magnificent species, producing on one spike as many as twelve or fifteen blooms of rosy pink color, with crimson lip. It should be grown in a pot with plenty of room, as it is a very strong grower.
Cattleya crispa, a fine species, very free flowering, producing fine spikes of beautiful, pure white flowers, with crimson lip and throat. Blooms in July or August, and will grow well in a basket suspended from the roof.
Cattleyas Mounted in Various Ways.
This genus has many species and varieties, though very few are of much value to the commercial florist. The most useful is the beautiful Coelogyne cristata grandiflora, which produces its graceful racemes of white flowers with yellow blotches on throat in early spring. This plant is of comparatively easy culture. It likes abundance of water during its growing season, which lasts till the bulbs have matured, when water should be withheld until the flower spikes are well advanced; otherwise they will start growing again instead of blooming. This species grows best in pots or pans, giving the plants plenty of room and good drainage. Elevate the bulbs on a compost of good fibrous peat, broken charcoal, or potsherds about the size of hazel nuts, and sphagnum moss, and finish off with live sphagnum as a top dressing. Potting should be done as soon as the flowering season is over. This plant will do well in a night temperature of 50 to 55 degrees in winter.
This peculiarly interesting genus is of easy culture. They may be grown in either pots or pans, in equal parts of good, fibrous peat and live sphagnum; a little broken charcoal is beneficial, as it prevents the compost from becoming sour. You can feed liquid manure to the strong growing varieties and it will materially help them if they are well rooted. They like plenty of water during summer, their growing season, and being evergreen and having no bulbs to feed from, should never be allowed to suffer from lack of it. Do not overshade cypripediums, as they delight in a strong light. Most all varieties require a warm temperature. The following are the best for commercial purposes:
Cypripedium insigne is a cool-house species, but can be grown in a warm house. It is a profuse bloomer if well cared for, flowers in winter, and lasts a long time in perfection. It is very beneficial to put it outside for three months in summer, slightly shaded and well watered.
Cypripedium Harrisianum, a fine hybrid, often flowering twice a year, is a fine bloomer and stronger grower than most cypripediums, therefore requires plenty of pot-room and should be grown in a warm house.
Cypripedium Lawrenceanum, another species requiring a warm, moist atmosphere, is a good bloomer, with bold, straight stems and beautifully marked flower. Blooms in summer and autumn; do not over-pot it.
Cypripedium Spicerianum, which I consider the queen of the. genus, is a very free grower and good bloomer, and is a great favorite in the cut flower market. It requires a warm temperature, flowers in early spring, and lasts a long time.
Cypripedium villosum, a grand species from India; similar in color to insigne, but the flowers are much larger, and have the appearance of being varnished. This is a very useful sort, as it will thrive in either a cool or warm house, and should be in every collection. It is a very strong grower, requiring plenty of pot-room.
The members of this genus are almost numberless, and in-clude some of the most beautiful, as well as the most useful, orchids for the cut flower trade. They can be grown in pots or baskets, with plenty of drainage and a compost of good, fibrous peat and live sphagnum, with some broken charcoal or potsherds mixed with it. They require a warm temperature during their growing season, with plenty of water, but several species, such as Wardianum, nobile, Devonianum, etc., should be moved to a cool house as soon as they have stopped growing, and left there until their flower buds are well advanced, when they may go into a little warmer house to flower. If this treatment is followed up you will be seldom, if ever, disappointed in the results of your labors. Watch for the thrips on these plants, as they soon destroy them if allowed to remain.
Dendrobium Wardianum, a beautiful species from Assam, is perhaps the best. It is a very strong grower and good bloomer if above instructions are followed, but be sure you do not over-pot this species, as nothing is more injurious to it. It blooms in early spring and lasts a long time if kept cool and dry. It should be grown in a basket, suspended.
Dendrobium nobile is a well-known old species from India, requiring the same treatment as Wardianum, but can, if necessity requires, be grown cooler and kept back, or forced into flower, as desired by the grower, at any time from December to May.