Laelia Sec.Hadrolaelia


Tribe: Epidendreae 
Subtribe: Laeliinae

Section Hadrolaelia includes species that produce fairly large flowers on small plants. The section includes well-known species such as Laelia pumila, L. praestans and L. dayana, that all produce flowers that are 3" to 5" across on plants that are barely larger than that. As a result, due to its deep magenta color, Laelia pumila has been used extensively in hybridizing to produce miniature cattleyas. 

These three species usually grow in forested areas under shady and humid conditions, at elevations usually above 2,500 ft. (about 800m.) so they are intermediate growers. Laelia sincorana and L. jongheana grow in more interior habitats and at higher elevations, usually above 4,000 ft. (around 1,300 m.); these two species grow exposed to a lot more sunlight and wind.Laelia sincorana produces flowers that are quite similar to those of L. pumila, and L. jongheana produces the largest flowers in the section, up to 6" across. 

The sixth species is Laelia alaorii, the most recently described. It comes from coastal humid forest in the state of Bahia, at elevations around 1,000 ft. (some 300 m.); this is the warmest growing species in the section, and also the one that produces the smallest plants and flowers. It is also the species with lighter colored flowers and less color variation. An interesting, and characteristic feature of the species in this section is that they produce their flowers directly with the new growth, that is, without a protective flower sheath.

Number of species:

6, several more color forms. The World Monocot checklist currently considers these species to belong to a greatly expanded genus Sophronitis although Genera Orchidacearum Vol. 5 will transfer the entire genus Sophronitis to Cattleya and the World Checklist will follow soon thereafter.


Tropical America, Brazil.

Laelia dayana var. coerulea - ©2009 Greg Allikas 

L. sincorana 'Sierra Rose'
AM/AOS - ©2009 Greg Allikas 

--- C U L T U R E ---