Lealiocattleya Santa Barbara Sunset ‘Showtime,’ HCC/AOS (5” pot near blooming size)
New! We are very excited to be able to offer the beautifully grown cop of near flowering size plants of one of our all-time favorite Laelia anceps hybrids. This classic hybrid, made by who else but Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and introduce in 1980 has been unavailable since Carter & Holmes mericloned it some year back. Our photos show our plant from that batch, originally purchased in a 2.5” pot! The large picture taken several years ago on New Year’s Day shows it with 70 open flowers growing in a 12” wooden basket. We originally had it on a pot, then when it outgrew that container simply set it into an empty basket and let it root onto it. Once mature, plants require perfect drainage to help maintain a healthy root system and you can see the results for yourself! Last year, a plant was given a cultural award with 262 flowers and 26 buds at the Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers Annual Show in San Mateo, CA.
If you live in such a location with only rare light freezes, you can grow this orchid outside year round as it is very, very temperature tolerant, capable of enduring anything between 28 and 105F. Its nature is to form a specimen plant quickly and even the plants we are offering in 5 inch pots all have multiple leads already. A few may bloom in the coming season, which for us is December-January. If grown in an outdoor environment where nights are chilly, it may delay bloom until March. The bloom spikes begin to show on new growth by mid-summer, but elongate slowly throughout the season until flowering occurs. Each can carry up to four or five, rarely six blooms slightly over three inches across with the endearing star shape characteristic of L. anceps which makes up 75% of its family tree. But the other species in that tree, C. cinnabarina, adds a delicate peachy orange undertone to the flowers, which also display a vivid rose lip accented by sunny yellow and deep red lines in the throat. If this orchid enchants you as it does us, you should jump at the chance to acquire it before this crop has run out!
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