Christmas is late this year…my Cattleya percivaliana bloomed
yesterday, a first for me. It’s supposed to stink, but as far as I can
tell, it’s just a slight musty odour, nothing unpleasant.
The Orchid Works Web site has some great information on this species, which I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing here:
all the Venezuelan labiate Cattleyas, C. percivaliana probably has the
smallest plant stature (usually under 9-inches, 23cm). It is also the
one that grows at the highest altitudes, from 1400 – 2000m.
Fortunately, it is an adaptable species that will grow under a wide
range of cultural conditions. Known as the ‘Christmas Cattleya’ because
it rarely fails to bloom for that holiday. The flowers are of a good
size, 4-5-inches (10-12.5cm), carried 2-4 per growth, and are found in
several different color varieties. The typical color form is lavender
with a darker lip and a splotch of old-gold in the throat. Perhaps the
most unique feature of C. percivaliana is the foetid
fragrance…somewhat like stinkbugs. This species is often found
growing on rocks in full sun in its habitat. In cultivation, it enjoys
bright light and good air movement. Provide ample water when in growth
but allow a dry winter rest before flowering."