In a previous article (A. O. S. Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 10, 1966, pp. 834-835), an attempt was made to list as completely as possible the blue Cattleya and Laelia species. At the time it was based on all information available. Correspondence relating to the article was received and alterations appeared necessary.
Where, before, the species were listed with specific varieties, the approach here is to take each species and give as much information relating to the blue clones as is available, with mention of varietal names only as is necessary.
Cattleya amethystoglossa: - Several blue forms have resulted from a selfing. The sepals are white with blue spotting. The lip is the same color of blue but is crossed near the throat with lavender.
C. bicolor: - The older literature has mentioned a variety coerulea, but no information has been obtained on it other than that it is supposed to have existed.
C. bowringiana: - There are several clones and some selfings which are in the blue shades. The original varieties lilacina and violacea have not been located. Color is blue, usually with quite a bit of lavender in the sepals, and darker lip. Variety concolor is clearer and has literally no darker coloring in the lip.
C. chocoensis: - The few details on this species are that a variety azulina exists, having white sepals and a bluish lip.
C. deckeri: - Only one blue form is known of this species, variety 'Blue.' It is difficult to grow and only one division is known to still be alive. It is reported as having bluish sepals and a darker lip.
C. gaskelliana: - A number of blue-lipped forms are known, with the sepals pale blue to off-white. Variety coerulescens, used by Coleman, has not been located. Variety 'Blue Dragon' is the most common in the US
C. harrisoniana and C. loddigesii: - Some blue shades are known to exist, but they are not considered worthwhile for breeding.
C. intermedia: - Numerous different clones of varety coerulea and variety amethystina exist. Color in the sepals is white, the lip blue to blue-lavender. A few have pin dots of blue in the sepals, matching the lip color.
C. labiata: - There are several clones of this species in the blue colored phase. The white-tepaled, blue-lip forms are usually called var. coerulescens, while the blue-tepaled and blue-lip forms are called var. coerulea. Selfings have been made.
C. leuddemanniana: - The information is not too clear on the number of clones - one to three. One I have seen a slide of is very good - variety 'Senora Milan'. It is white with a very fine blue-lavender lip.
C. maxima: - Though previously included in the list, it is felt that the variety coerulescens has too much lavender to really be useful in breeding and questionable as to whether to include it as a blue.
C. mendelii: - The two previously noted varieties, 'Lady Coleman' and leucoglossa, have not been located. Another variety, azul, exists, but no firm details are available, nor if there are any others.
C. mossiae: - Numerous blue clones exist, as do selfings. Variety 'Reineckiana, Blue Lip' is the one in general use for breeding in the U. S. Tepals are generally light to medium blue with a darker blue-veined lip.
C. percivaliana: - There is one known blue-lipped form with bluish sepals - variety 'Ondina.' Another clone is believed to be the same, but as yet this has not been determined.
C. schilleriana: - The blue-veined lip of the coerulescens varieties are the result of a selfing. About eight percent of those raised came out with the blue lip.
C. schroederae: - Blue varieties, coerulea and lilacina, have not been located, nor have any additional ones.
C. trianae: - Three major varieties, 'Bluebird', coerulea, and azul, and selfings of variety 'Bluebird' are known. Variety azul has white sepals and a blue lip and appears to be the most promising for breeding (from colored slide). Selfings of variety 'Bluebird have been variable in color, and the variety itself has yet to breed blues with others.
C. walkeriana (including C. nobilior): - The total number of varieties is unknown; two are known. Tepals are a medium blue. One is nearly concolor. The other has a darker lip.
C. warneri: - The information suggests that only one clone was collected wild, variety coerulea 'Miranda'- and that it was selfed. Numerous clones are in existence today. Tepals are a medium blue with a darker lip.
C. warscewiczii (syn. C. gigas): - Recently, two varieties have been found and possibly a couple more may be in existence. The varieties are azul and 'Helene de Ospina.' The latter one blooms with white sepals and blue-lavender lip for me.
Laelia anceps: - One known variety, veitchiana, has been selfed several times. The sepals are white with a blue-lavender lip.
L. autumnalis: - One variety, 'Blue', was listed by the Missouri Botanical Garden several years ago. However, they have not since located it to my knowledge, nor have any others been located with blue coloring.
L. crispa: - One clone, variety coerulea, is reported to exist, having white sepals and a blue lip. It was not doing well at last report.
L. perrinii: - Unknown number of clones, though two types are know to exist. One type has white sepals and a blue lip. The other has blue-lavender sepals and darker lip.
L. pumila: - Unknown number of blue clones, but in excess of two varieties of coerulea clones exist. One is 'Orchidglade', having blue-lavender sepals and a darker lip. The other is 'werkhauserii', which has white sepals and dark blue lip.
L. purpurata: - The variety werkhauserii is well known, though there are very many differing widely in quality of lip color. Tepals are white with the lip veined blue. Two distinct clones are very good -'Divine' and superba. The variety superba is reported to be the original Werkhauser plant. Its lip is the darkest blue color I have ever seen.
It would be impractical to give any greater detail, since, primarily, there is so much variation in the definition of blue color in these plants and numerous clones. Each person's definition is slightly different, though among those working with the color, a standard is slowly being set. Usually only one or two of the blue varieties are in my personal collection and some of those species listed are not, so direct comparisons cannot be made. Their owners have been kind enough to supply details on these.
Among the major contributors of information, inspiration, plants and pollen are Dr. Gernot Bergold, Gordon Dillon, Gilberto Escobar, Dr. Jose Ettedgui, Tom Fennell, Ernest Hetherington, Leo Holquin, Edward Manda, Dr. Edgar McPeak, Mariano Ospina, Waldemar Silva, Charles Slocum and Eddie Waras. I'll take this opportunity to again thank each of them for their help and give them due recognition for the knowledge and the hard work entailed in digging up much of this information.
(American Orchid Society Bulletin, Vol. 39, No. 5, May, 1970, pp. 422-424.)