Cattleya x imperator Rolfe

Imperator Cattleya

Family: Orchidaceae

Genus: Cattleya

Category: Houseplant


From Orchid Rev.: A very handsome Cattleya was exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society's meeting on October 27th, 1896, by Messrs. Linden, of Brussels, under the name of Cattleya X Le Czar, and received a First-class Certificate. It was supposed to be a natural hybrid between C. labiata and C. granulosa... On November 4th last it was exhibited at a meeting of the Manchester and North of England Orchid Society by A. Warburton, Esq., Vine House, Haslingden, and received a similar award. Unfortunately, I have not seen the plant, but the drawings show clearly a combination of characters derived from the two species in question, and Mr. Warburton writes that the pseudobulbs show the same intermediate feature. There are five, ranging from 7 to 11 inches long, one bearing two leaves and two others only one — the older ones having presumably lost their leaves. The infloresence bore two flowers, which were rather a long time in bud before opening, and looked like a large granulosa. The flower has much of the general shape of this species, with its curved petals and very deeply three-lobed lip, and the texture is somewhat similar, but the colour is greatly modified. The sepals and petals are beautiful soft rose-pink, with a slight tinge of green in the former, the front lobe of the lip rich crimson-purple with a pale margin, and the side lobes blush white with purple reflexed tips, while the intervening isthmus is reddish with some orange markings. It bears a general resemblance to C. X Victoria-Regina, but the flower is larger and the lip more deeply divided, as would naturally be expected in a hybrid in which C. Leopoldi was replaced by C. granulosa. Hybridists who will make the cross suggested will probably succeed in confirming its parentage, and at the same time increase the stock of a rare and most beautiful plant. It has hitherto only been named in the vernacular, and the name now proposed conserves the original idea as nearly as possible, consistent with the requirements of botanical nomenclature.


Published in Orchid Rev. 5: 365 in 1897. Also pictured in Dict. Icon. Orchid. Cattleya hybrid #26 in 1904.

Seed parent Cattleya granulosa

Pollen parent Cattleya labiata

Natural hybrid.

Synonyms: Cattleya Imperator (1897), Cattleya Madame Galpin.

Cattleya Le Czar has the same parentage but is not listed as a synonym by the International Orchid Register.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner