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Laelia briegeri Blumenschein

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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE
Charles and Margaret Baker

Laelia briegeri Blumenschein

AKA: N/A. 

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Brazil. This species is found in the region around
Diamantina in the state of Minas Gerais at 3200-4600 ft. (980-1400 m).
Plants grow on sandstone with their roots protected by moss, lichens, and
other low-growing vegetation.

CLIMATE: Station #83538, Diamantina, Brazil, Lat. 18.2S, Long. 43.6W, at
4183 ft. (1275 m). The record high temperature is 100F (38C), and the
record low is 39F (4C). 

N/HEMISPHERE    JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
F AVG MAX        69   73   74   75   75   75   79   79   78   74   73   70
F AVG MIN        52   53   56   59   60   61   62   63   62   60   56   53
DIURNAL RANGE    17   20   18   16   15   14   17   16   16   14   17   17
RAIN/INCHES     0.7  1.2  2.9  4.3  9.6 13.7  8.1  6.7  9.8  2.9  2.7  0.9
HUMIDITY/%       75   71   72   76   81   83   80   80   80   81   79   76
BLOOM SEASON           *         *    *    *
DAYS CLR @ 9AM    7    5    1    1    0    0    1    1    1    0    3    6
RAIN/MM          18   30   74  109  244  348  206  170  249   74   69   23
C AVG MAX      20.6 22.8 23.3 23.9 23.9 24.1 26.2 26.1 25.6 23.3 22.8 21.1
C AVG MIN      11.1 11.7 13.3 15.0 15.6 16.1 16.7 17.2 16.7 15.6 13.3 11.7
DIURNAL RANGE   9.5 11.1 10.0  8.9  8.3  8.0  9.5  8.9  8.9  7.7  9.5  9.4
S/HEMISPHERE    JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 3000-4000 fc. Bright light should be somewhat filtered or diffused,
and plants should not be exposed to direct midday sun. Strong air movement
should be continuous. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 75-79F (24-26C), and nights average
61-63F (16-17C), with a diurnal range of 14-17F (8-10C). 

HUMIDITY: Near 80% most of the year, dropping to 70-75% in winter and
early spring. 

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from spring into autumn, but amounts
decline in late autumn resulting in a 2-3 month winter dry season. Plants
should be watered frequently while actively growing, but the roots need to
dry rapidly after watering. Water should be gradually reduced in autumn
after new growths mature. Brazilian growers recommend using pure,
salt-free water when cultivating rupicolous laelias. 

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly while plants are
actively growing. A high-nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial from spring to
midsummer, but a fertilizer high in phosphates should be used in late
summer and autumn. 

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 69-73F (21-23C), and nights average
52-53F (11-12C), with a diurnal range of 17-20F (10-11C). In the habitat,
rainfall is low for 2-3 months in winter, but moisture from heavy dew is
often available. Water should be reduced for cultivated plants, but they
should not remain completely dry for long periods. Occasional
early-morning mistings between infrequent waterings should provide
adequate moisture in most growing areas. The McQueens (1993) reported that
plants require a dry rest with only occasional mistings given to prevent
undue shriveling of the plant. Water may be increased slightly if leaves
or pseudobulbs show signs of excessive shriveling. Fertilizer is best
eliminated until heavier watering is resumed in spring. 

GROWING MEDIA: Plants are most often grown in pots filled with a very
coarse, open, fast-draining medium. The medium needs to be sufficiently
open so that the roots dry rapidly after watering. Small pots are better
than large ones because the medium in larger pots remains wet for too long
after watering. If the roots do not dry quickly enough, they eventually
start to rot. Some growers use small pots filled with broken pieces of
sandstone and chopped tree-fern fiber. Repotting or dividing is best done
when new roots are just starting to grow. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation records. In the habitat, plants flower in late spring or
early summer. 
As one of the rupicolous or rock-growing laelias, Laelia briegeri needs
warm days, cool nights, high light and humidity, and a rapidly drying
medium. These requirements have contributed to its reputation of being
difficult to grow. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A small, 2.4-8.0 in. (6-20 cm) sympodial lithophyte. 

PSEUDOBULB: 1.2-4.0 in. (3-10 cm) long by 0.2-0.6 in. (0.6-1.5 cm) wide.
The pale green pseudobulbs may be short and squat or more or less
cylindrical. 

LEAVES: 1.2-4.0 in. (3-10 cm) long. A single sub-erect to spreading leaf
is carried at the top of each growth. It is grooved above and lightly
keeled below. 

INFLORESCENCE: 4-8 in. (10-20 cm) long, rarely to 16 in. (40 cm). An erect
to arching flower spike emerges from the top of the pseudobulb. Blossoms
are carried near the top of the inflorescence. 

FLOWERS: 3-5. The long lasting, bright yellow blossoms, which all open at
the same time, are 1.6-2.2 in. (4.0-5.5 cm) across. They have broad sepals
and petals that open fully to produce a nice flower form. Many growers
consider them to be among the loveliest of the rupicolous laelias. Petals
and dorsal sepal, which may be egg shaped to elliptical, measure 0.9-1.2
in. (2.3-3.0 cm) long by about 0.4 in. (1 cm) wide. Broadly sickle-shaped
lateral sepals are slightly shorter. The recurved lip is about 0.7 in.
(1.7 cm) long with large sidelobes that roll upward to completely enclose
the column. The relatively broad midlobe has two keels that extend most of
its length. The center lobe has very wavy or frilly margins. Flowers are
normally bright yellow, but an alba form is known, and flower color may
range from creamy white to dark yellow-gold. 

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is 2n = 80. Hybrids using Laelia
briegeri may contribute flaring and splashing to the color of the sepals
and petals. Plants were first used for hybridizing in the mid 1970's. 

REFERENCES: 

Chapman, S., T. Johnson, and K. Rose. 1988. The rupicolous laelias;
Section Parviflorae. A paper written for The American Orchid Society judge
training program. 

Fowlie, J. A. 1975. With Ghillany in Brazil part X. Rediscovering Laelia
jongheana in unique grutas on the Pico do Itambé. Orchid Digest, 39(6):
231-238. 

Fowlie, J. A. 1990. The subplateaus of the northern Serra da Espinhaco and
rupicolous Laelia species. Orchid Digest, 54(1): 36-37. 

Hamilton, R. Orchid nurse. 

Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211
Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7.

McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1993. Orchids of Brazil. Timber Press,
Portland, OR. 

Miranda. F. E. 1990. Brazilian laelias - Part III: Section Parviflorae.
American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 462-472. 

Nickou, J. 1990. Culture of rupicolous laelias. American Orchid Society
Bulletin, 59(5): 455-459.

Pabst, G. 1975. Some novelties among Brazilian orchids part VII. Laelia
angereri Pabst. Orchid Digest, 39(4): 153. 

Pabst, G. 1984. The section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid
Digest, 48(1): 13-21 and 24-32. Translated and reprinted from 1978 Die
Orchidee, vol. 29: 156-165, 196-200. 

Withner, C. 1990. The cattleyas and their relatives, vol. II:the laelias.
Timber Press, Portland, OR. 

PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: 

Fowlie, J. A. 1975. With Ghillany in Brazil part X. Rediscovering Laelia
jongheana in unique grutas on the Pico do Itambé. Orchid Digest, 39(6):
231-238. 

Fowlie, J. A. 1990. The subplateaus of the northern Serra da Espinhaco and
rupicolous Laelia species. Orchid Digest, 54(1): 36-37. 

McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1993. Orchids of Brazil. Timber Press,
Portland, OR. 

Miranda. F. E. 1990. Brazilian laelias - Part III: Section Parviflorae.
American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 462-472. 

Nickou, J. 1990. Culture of rupicolous laelias. American Orchid Society
Bulletin, 59(5): 455-459.

Pabst, G. 1975. Some novelties among Brazilian orchids part VII. Laelia
angereri Pabst. Orchid Digest, 39(4): 153. 

Pabst, G. 1984. The section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid
Digest, 48(1): 13-21 and 24-32. Translated and reprinted from 1978 Die
Orchidee, vol. 29: 156-165, 196-200. 

Withner, C. 1990. The cattleyas and their relatives, vol. II:the laelias.
Timber Press, Portland, OR. 


Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 25612329

.........................................................................
Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in
any way without permission.
.........................................................................

__________________________________________________________________________
 "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA

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Go Back to Free Culture Sheet Index -- Baker's Home Page

This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
Please visit their web site to find out about their Orchid Species Culture books,
Pollination Database, and culture sheet subscription service.