Cattleya percivaliana (Rchb.f.) O'Brien

Percival's Cattleya, Christmas Cattleya

Family: Orchidaceae

Genus: Cattleya

Category: Houseplant

Size: Small


Narrow, long single leaf. Blooms in winter. Terminal racemose inflorescence, flowers short-lived, musk fragrant.

From Orchid Album ... an evergreen plant, with elevate stems, ten inches in height, bearing dark green foliage, much resembling that of C. Mossiae. It is a plant of compact-growing habit, having the sepals and petals infused with a delicate magenta-rose colour, while the lip is of an intense magenta, margined broadly with pale rosy purple, the throat being deep orange, veined with brownish purple; the flowers have a most peculiar odour, similar to that of Laelia autumnalis, by which they can be identified.


Published in Gard. Chron. n.s. 20: 404 in 1883.

Basionym Cattleya labiata var. percivaliana Rchb.f., pictured in Orchid Album 3: 144 in 1884.

Native to Venezuela.

Also published in Dict. Icon. Orchid. Cattleya plate 7 in 1897.


Hybridizing Characteristics: 

Hybrids tend to be winter bloomers and be small. Musk fragrance is not widely desired and hence it is not much used in hybrids. (Hereditary Influences of the Cattleya Alliance -

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner