Laeliocattleya Blue Boy was registered in 1960 by B. O. Bracey. It was the first truly successful blue Cattleya hybrid since the early Coleman crosses and has set guidelines for breeding medium sized blues. The blooms, in general, are of medium blue color with the lip darker, crossed by a lavender bar. In contrast to other blues, these plants are quite fertile.

One of the parents is the natural hybrid Lc. elegans 'Werkhauserii' (Laelia purpurata x Cattleya guttata). It is of typical form in size and shape, but has off-white sepals and petals. The lip exhibits a dark lavender disc and the new growths show a definite lavender influence. The veining of the forelobe of the lip is a dark, misty blue color. This is the key parent in this breeding. The sepals shade toward muddy green or yellow, which seems to enhance the blue color in the lip and the color of the entire flower of the progeny. Of the hybrids now in existence, two can be considered as somewhat similar. The first is the blue strain of Lc. Schilleriana. In this hybrid the sepals are white to off-white, shaded toward blue. The lip does not have the large disc, but some lavender is apparent. The veining is relatively uniform blue to blue-lavender. The growth exhibits some color. Cattleya intermedia replaces the C. guttata parent which results in poorer shape and lack of enhancing greenish shade.

The second hybrid not only substitutes C. intermedia for C. guttata, but replaces L. purpurata with C. mossiae. The result in this blue strain of C. Undine is a shape similar to Lc. Schilleriana, with a clearer, lighter veined lip. The sepals are white to light blue and the growths show no lavender influence.

The other parent of Lc. Blue Boy is C. Ariel coerulea 'Bodnant's'. This discussion will center on three different clones, including this variety, which are fairly uniform in color, size and shape. The sepals and petals are medium blue. The lip is darker, exhibiting a lavender tear common in all early C. bowringiana hybrids. The parentage is C. bowringiana var. lilacina with C. gaskelliana var. coerulescens. The shape is very similar to C. Portia. When grown under high light intensity, some lavender is apparent in the growth.

Three hybrids are similar here, two particularly. The first is C. Portia coerulea. There are numerous clones of this hybrid and they vary considerably, principally in color. Color varies from medium blue to blue-lavender. In breeding, the darker clones are recommended. Cattleya labiata var. coerulea is one parent, with variety violacea of C. bowringiana as the other.

The second hybrid is so close to C. Portia coerulea that little distinction will be made between them. This is the hybrid Brassolaeliocattleya Victoria coerulea which has C. Portia coerulea as one parent and a C. Portia hybrid (Blc. Antoinette) as the other. The result is literally a C. Portia coerulea of medium blue color.

In the third hybrid the same C. bowringiana was used as when making C. Ariel coerulea. The other parent was Laelia praestans (pumila)'Gatton Park'. The resulting hybrid is named Lc. Parysatis coerulea. The L. pumila var. coerulea in this writer's collection carries considerable green in the flower. If variety 'Gatton Park' had a similar characteristic, it is well worth noting. This hybrid has more rounded petals than C. Portia coerulea, is smaller in size, but is one of the darkest of the blues. The bar of lavender is present in the nearly solid, dark lip.

If we use Lc. elegans 'Werkhauserii' as one parent with any of the hybrids similar to C. Ariel coerulea, nearly identical results to Lc. Blue Boy can be expected except with Lc. Parysatis coerulea, where flower size and lip will be reduced and color darkened. When using Lc. Schilleriana, the sepal color can be expected to be considerably lightened. Cattleya Undine, when used, will tend to clarify but lighten the color somewhat, the lip particularly. In the latter two cases shape can be expected to be poorer. All of the hybrids can be expected to have the lavender bar in the lip.

(American Orchid Society Bulletin, Vol. 36,No. 2, February, 1967, pp. 99-100. Orchid Digest, Vol. 33, No. 8, October, 1969, p. 261.)

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