Saturday, May 29, 2010

Potinara orchids, and related hybrids

I discussed Dendrobium, now something from the Cattleya alliance, Potinara. Another will be in the same shipment as Dendrobium Yellow Song Canary. The Potinara varieties seem suited for home culture, due to hybridization and small size.

Potinara is a manmade genus (nothogenus) created from several species of Cattleya-type orchids. Potinara consists of grandparents from Brassovola, Cattleya, Laelia, and Sophronitis.

It gets complicated. With genetic testing, some species have been moved to different genera, and some have been renamed. So... this is rephrased from Richard Pippen, Ph.D , Professor Emeritus, Western Michigan University, Naples, Florida

Some Brassasavola have changed. Now Brassavola digbyana is Rhyncholaelia digbyana. 19th century botanical sketch here is from Wikimedia commons. The Rhyncholaelia digbyana is a Mexican or Guatemalan species, and contributes larger, ruffled lip, and may contribute fragrance. from

Other Brassovola parents were shuffled around, so some are now Brassocattleya or Brassocatanthe.

Rhyncholaelia provides fragrance and highly ruffled characteristics for the lip.

*Brazilian species of Laelia were merged into Cattleya.
*Sophronitis was merged into Cattleya.
This drawing is "Sophronitis crispata as Laelia flava". How's that for confusing? " Laelia flava has brightly colored yellow, star-shaped flowers. Color ranges from yellow to pale yellow. Some individuals have small red spots near the base of the petals. The lip is frilly. The flower spike reaches 25 cm above the foliage and has 4 to 8 flowers near the tip." from verdantgreenla.orgI think these would contribute warm colors, yellow, orange, or red, and multiple flowers.

*Cattleya auriantica, C. bowringiana, and C. skinneri were split out of Cattleya and are in the new genus Guarianthe. This sketch os Sophronitis coccinea as Sophronitis grandiflora. OK. The former Sophronitis coccinia, now Cattleya coccinia comes from Brazil. Info from Here we find red or orange coloration, clusters of flowers.

Guarianthe skinneri as Cattleya skinneri.

So Dr. Pippen gives the example, Potinara Burana Beauty, a cross between Potinara (now Rhyncattleanthe) Netrasiri Starbright and Cattleya Netrasiri Beauty, which went from
Brassavola x Cattleya x Laelia x Sophronitis = Potinara to Rhyncholaelia x Cattleya x Guarianthe = Rhyncattleanthe (Rth.)

Not that it is going to matter to the home grower - the species have been so jumbled, traits from multiple ancestors from multiple places contribute. See original link from Manatee Orchid Society for much more mind boggling detail. Where it matters to me, is that I like to look for the ancestors and see what the original plants looked like.

These are from and are the others in my order. Potinara"Cheryl Winkelman" Who knows what were the original progenitors, and with so much genetic scrambling, it may not be possible to find out. I find it compelling that the lip has a pattern similar to that seen on the Guarianthe skinneri sketch.

Sophrolaeliocattleya Jewelbox orange. Not Potinara, but with some members of the mix.

The photos don't show the entire plant, that will have to wait until I can do it myself. Assuming they survive and bloom in my hands.

Mor history of "Minicatts" here, from

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