Cattleya skinneri.

Known to science since 1838 when James Bateman described specimens sent to him by G.U. Skinner who had sent specimens and after whom it is named; probably one of the best known cattleyas’ and one which is very common in cultivation 160 years+ on.   Common in Costa Rica and the National flower of that country; it is also found in Mexico and other northern states of South America.

 Pseudobulbs can be 22-30cm.-(9-12”) tall, swelling from the base to 2-3cm.-(.75”-1.2”) – bi-foliate;l eaves 15cm.-(6”) long x 4-5cm.-(1.5-2”) wide.   The inflorescence often carries from two to twelve 7-8cm.-(3”) wide flowers.   When not divided multi lead plants develop and become very attractive being of a good uniform rose-purple with a crystalline texture in good light.   There are ‘alba’ and coerulea  varieties which are also quite well known in collections. 

In cultivation plants need warm conditions, good light, high humidity, air movement and water.   When potted the medium needs to be very open to give good drainage, air through the pot to help the roots to partially dry between waterings and some water retentive element to prevent absolute dryness.