When B. O. Bracey first showed Laeliocattleya Blue Boy, there were a few blue Cattleya and Laelia species and hybrids to work with, at least in some of the commercial hybridizing establishments, and they used them. Since the early 70's though, most of the collections that were built up seem to have fallen on hard times.
Blue Cattleya hybrids continue to appear, to some extent, though only occasionally. Mericlones of a number of the finer clones have appeared on the market off and on. But, much of the hybridizing has gone back to the hybridizer having a couple of plants and hybridizing them.
In Brazil, Rolf Altenburg continues to develop some nice blues. Fortunately, these are finding their way into the United States and supplementing our production. In Hawaii, some nice things have also been produced.
However, it appears that it is again time for the blues to "come around". Some concentrated efforts are being made to improve on what we have accomplished. May they be rewarded for their efforts!
When I started with the blues, very little had been done with the color. Today, many hybrids have been produced with three and four generations in the background. New and finer species have been located or developed from which remakes hold even greater promise. However, we must be careful that too much emphasis is not put on shape and size, and sacrifice the best blue color.
And so, the quest for the true blue Cattleya continues . .
March 21, 1990