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Catasetum integerrimum Hooker

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Charles and Margaret Baker

Catasetum integerrimum Hooker

AKA: N/A. 

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Mexico through Central America to Nicaragua. Plants have
been reported on in regions facing both the Pacific and Caribbean where
they grow as epiphytes in humid forests, coffee plantations, or open
country. Plants have been collected from near sea level up to about 5900
ft. (1800 m), although they occur mostly in low-elevation tropical

CLIMATE: Station #78720, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Lat. 14.1N, Long. 87.2W,
at 3304 ft. (1007 m). The record high temperature is 92F (33C) and the
record low is 35F (2C). 

F AVG MAX        78   80   84   86   85   83   81   82   82   80   78   77
F AVG MIN        59   60   61   65   66   67   66   65   66   65   62   61
DIURNAL RANGE    19   20   23   21   19   16   15   17   16   15   16   16
RAIN/INCHES     0.6  0.2  0.4  1.1  6.1  6.5  3.6  4.4  6.9  5.6  1.6  0.6
HUMIDITY/%       74   68   63   63   70   79   78   76   80   81   79   77
BLOOM SEASON                          *    *    *    *    *   **    *    *
DAYS CLR @6AM     7    7   15    6    1    1    0    1    0    1    2    6
DAYS CLR @12PM   11   11   16    7    0    0    0    0    1    2    4    4
RAIN/MM          15    5   10   28  155  165   91  112  175  142   41   15
C AVG MAX      25.6 26.7 28.9 30.0 29.4 28.5 27.3 27.8 27.8 26.7 25.6 25.0
C AVG MIN      15.0 15.6 16.1 18.3 18.9 19.4 18.9 18.3 18.9 18.3 16.7 16.1
DIURNAL RANGE  10.6 11.1 12.8 11.7 10.5  9.1  8.4  9.5  8.9  8.4  8.9  8.9

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 2500-4000 fc. Light should be bright but somewhat filtered or
diffused. Although plants in nature are sometimes found almost fully
exposed to the sun, cultivated plants are probably healthier if not
exposed to direct sun at midday. Strong air movement should be provided at
all times. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 81-83F (27-29C), and nights average
65-67F (18-19C), with a diurnal range of 15-17F (8-10C). Temperatures in
the preceding table represent the average conditions under which these
plants should be grown. Because of the wide range in habitat elevation,
plants should adapt to conditions either 6-8F (3-4C) warmer or cooler than

HUMIDITY: 75-80% most of the year, dropping to 60-65% in late winter and
early spring. 

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from late spring into autumn. Amounts
then diminish rather rapidly into a winter dry season. Cultivated plants
should be watered heavily while actively growing, but water should be
drastically reduced after new growths mature in autumn. 

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when 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 77-80F (25-27C), and nights average
59-61F (15-16C), with a diurnal range of 16-20F (9-11C). Growers are
reminded that because of the range in habitat elevation, plants should
adapt to conditions 6-8F (3-4C) warmer or cooler than indicated. Rainfall
is very low in winter, but some additional moisture is available in the
form of heavy dew. Cultivated plants should be allowed to dry out after
leaves drop in autumn, with only enough water given to keep the
pseudobulbs from shriveling. More plants are lost from overwatering in
winter than from any other cause. Fertilizer should be eliminated during
the rest period. Growers report that normal watering and fertilizing
should be resumed only when new growth is well under way in spring and new
roots are 0.8-1.6 in. (2-4 cm) long. 

GROWING MEDIA: Plants may be mounted on tree-fern slabs if humidity is
high and plants are watered at least once daily in summer. Several
waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during very hot, dry
periods. Because most growers find it difficult to keep mounted plants
moist enough, they are usually grown in perfectly drained pots or baskets
using an open, fast draining medium which contains materials that retain
some moisture such as chopped sphagnum and perlite. Charcoal is often
added to help keep the medium open and prevent it from becoming sour. In
addition to the usual fir bark mixes, growers report success with plants
tightly potted in straight osmunda, tree-fern fiber, sphagnum moss,
volcanic rock, cork chips, or even a mix made of equal parts of composted
and fresh horse manure and charcoal. In effect, about any medium can be
used if watering practices are adjusted for its use. Plants are usually
more easily managed if the same medium is used for the entire collection,
Because it breaks down rather rapidly, plants grown in sphagnum moss must
be repotted every year. As these plants are intolerant of sour conditions
at the roots, many growers suggest repotting every year regardless of the
medium used. Repotting is done when a new growth appears at the base of
the pseudobulb. All but the last 1-2 pseudobulbs should be removed. Some
growers report that they routinely divide their plants into single
pseudobulbs. The old roots will soon die, so most of them can be cut off.
A few may be left to help anchor the plant in the new medium until new
roots have developed. After repotting, plants should not be watered at all
until the new growth has roots down into the medium and the new growth is
4-5 in. (10-12 cm) tall. The normal watering schedule may then be resumed,
but care should be taken to keep water from getting into the funnel-like
opening of the new growth as it can cause the loss of the growth from rot.
Some growers recommend placing a little Banrot mix into the funnel to
avoid this problem. 
After the front 1-2 pseudobulbs have been repotted, the "backbulbs" can be
used to start additional plants. Remove the old roots and lay the
backbulbs down on a bench top or in a flat until a new growth starts at
the bottom or sides of the pseudobulb. Some growers recommend that the
backbulbs be placed in a vertical position in an empty pot during this
waiting phase. Be patient, because it may take several months for the new
growth to appear. Once the new growth has started, pot the pseudobulb so
that the new growth is at or slightly below the surface of the potting
media. If several growths appear along the sides of the pseudobulb, it can
simply be laid on the surface of the potting media. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation records. In nature, the plants bloom in early autumn. The
highly fragrant flowers common to the genus Catasetum can be male or
female depending on the condition under which they are grown. Female
flowers are often produced under conditions of high light and low moisture
whereas male blossoms generally result when plants are grown in shadier,
more moist conditions. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A stout epiphyte, usually to about 20 in. (50 cm)
tall, normally consisting of one leaf-bearing pseudobulb and numerous
coarse, leafless pseudobulbs. 

PSEUDOBULB: The somewhat spindle-shaped pseudobulbs are 3-6 in. (8-15 cm)
long by about 2 in. (5 cm) in diameter. When young, they are covered with
thin, dry, membranelike, overlapping leaf-sheaths. 

LEAVES: Up to 26 in. (65 cm) long by 5 in. (12 cm) wide, although they are
generally somewhat smaller. About 6 distichous, linear-lanceolate,
elliptic-lanceolate, or oblong-elliptic leaves with fanlike longitudinal
folds and abruptly pointed tips are carried on each pseudobulb. Leaves are
usually deciduous at the end of the growing season. 

INFLORESCENCE: Up to 16in. (40 cm) long. The lateral to erect peduncle
emerges fro, the base of the newly developed pseudobulb. 

FLOWERS: 3-10 blossoms are carried on a simple raceme near the top of each
inflorescence. The non-resupinate flowers (lip held uppermost) are usually
yellowish green with fleshy green lips and are often spotted with red.
Some writers report that blossoms may also be purplish with darker spots
or suffusions. Each blossom is carried on a combined pedicel and ovary
that is about 1.2 in. (3 cm) long. 
On the male blossoms, the erect to bow-shaped sepals are broadly
oblong-elliptic with blunt or abruptly pointed tips. They are 1.3-1.9 in.
(3.2-4.8 cm) long by 0.6-0.9 in. (1.5-2.3 cm) wide and are occasionally
widest above the middle. The oval-elliptic to elliptic-obovate petals are
blunt with a short, abruptly sharp tip at the apex. At 1.2-1.6 in. (3-4
cm) long by 0.7-1.0 in. (1.8-2.5 cm) wide, they are slightly shorter but a
little wider than the sepals. The sack or slipperlike lip, which is held
uppermost, is rigid and fleshy. It is laterally compressed, bluntly
conical at the base, is about 1.2 in. (3 cm) long by 0.8-1.0 in. (2.0-2.5
cm) wide by 0.9-1.1 in. (2.3-2.8 cm) deep. The margin of the orifice is
ciliate-toothed on the basal portion but is otherwise smooth. The column,
which is up to 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) long, has a long beak at the apex, is
concave on the anterior surface, and has a terete, curved antenna on each
side at the base which projects downward. 
On the female blossoms, the sepals and petals are concave-incurved over
the column. The sepals are oblong-squarish to egg-shaped to somewhat
square. The sepals, which are 1.1-1.4 in. (2.8-3.5 cm) long by about 0.8
in. (2 cm) wide, are broadly rounded at the apex with a short, sharp,
abrupt projection. The petals are about 1.1 in. (2.7 cm) long by 0.8 in (2
cm) wide. They are suborbicular to squarish and are abruptly pointed at
the apex. The broad, slipperlike lip is rigid and fleshy and is dorsally
compressed. It is about 1.6 in (4 cm) long by 1.6 in. (4 cm) wide by 1 in.
(2.5 cm) deep. The margin of the orifice is smooth. The fleshy-thickened
column is about 0.8 in. (2 cm) long and has a long beak at the apex. 



Ames, O. and D. Correll. (1952-1965) 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and
Belize. Dover Publications, New York. 

Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid
species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 

Hamer, F. 1982. Orchids of Nicaragua, part 1. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum
fasc. 7, plates 601-700. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm
Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. 

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

Hawkes, A. [1965] 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and
Faber, London. 

Hills, H. G. 1995. Culture of Catasetinae Schlechter, revised 2/95.
Personal communication 3/95.

McVaugh, R. 1989 (1986). Orchidaceae, in Flora Novo-Galiciana vol. 16, a
descriptive account of the vascular plants of western Mexico. Ed. W. R.
Anderson. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U. S. A.

Paget, F. 1995. Catasetum Culture. The newsletter of the Oregon orchid
society March 1995.

Pridgeon, A. ed. 1992. The illustrated encyclopedia of orchids. Timber
Press, Portland, OR. 

Wiard, L. 1987. An introduction to the orchids of Mexico. Comstock
Publishing Assoc. Ithaca and London. 

Williams, L. [1951] 1986. The Orchidaceae of Mexico. CEIBA 2(1-4):1-256. 


Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 566439

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