This particular species is but
one of eight species named after Josef Ritter von Rawicz Warscewicz on
account of his work as an orchid hunter and collector; others are
Brassia; Epidendrum; Mesospinidium; Miltonia;
Oncidium; Sobralia and Stanhopea.
Cattleya warscewiczii was established by Rchb.f. in 1845 following discovery and collection by the Polish orchid hunter, it produces some of the largest flowers amongst its genera. Discovered in 1848 in the province of Medellin, Colombia. The fist shipment to Europe were lost, Rchb.f used pressed herbarium specimens sent at the same time to describe and establish the species and naming it. It did not however; become available to enthusiasts until 1870 after Benedict Roezl collected specimens from the same location and despatched to Europe where it quickly gained popularity and was much desired.
Pseudobulbs are shiny,
thick, 10cm.-(4”) long & 2cm.-(.75”) across; unifoliate with
20cm.-(8”) long x 5cm.-(2”) broad leaf which are thick, leathery
& rounded at the apex. The
inflorescence can be up to 45cm.-(13.75”) long carrying up to seven
flowers, usually 17-23cm.-(6.75-9”) across.
Sepals & Petals are rich rose pink, the lip coloration is a
rich carmine or purple with yellow and white at the throat.
Natural habitat is on trees by streams at an altitude of 500-1500m. Needs warm, humid; airy atmosphere in a very open compost when potted and a decided rest after the maturity of new growth to induce flowering.