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Seven Surprising Facts of the Rhyncholaelia Digbyana

11 January 2013 One Comment

Seven Surprising Facts of the Rhyncholaelia Digbyana

Common Name: Digby’s Beaked Laelia

The Rhyncholaelia digbyana is an uncommon and stunning species of orchid that is native to Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. Below are seven surprising facts of this beautiful orchid:

1.)    If given adequate light and kept somewhat dry between watering, this orchid will provide you with large, up to seven inch flowers, pale green, and quite fragrant especially at night.

2.)    This plant has sturdy, stiff, upright light green leaves that have a silvery appearance. When grown in strong light the leaves will turn a red-purple color.

3.)    The Rhyncholaelia digbyana needs bright light, intermediate growing temperatures and good air circulation.

4.)    Although it may be grown successfully in well drained pots, the plants grow best when mounted on cork or grown in slatted wood or plastic baskets.

5.)    This orchid can be found growing on bushes and among thorny acacia plants in dry areas of Central America.

6.)    The plants are quite fragrant at night.

7.)    Rhyncholaleia digbyana is frequently used to create complex Cattleya hybrids where it is used to bring its fantastic frilly lip to the genetic mix. Sometimes it is used to add a picote edge to the lip in hybrids with other genera. The color of the other parent is dominant in hybrids.

It is important to note that the first successful hybrid with this species was flowered in 1889 between Rhyncholaelia digbyana and Cattleya mossiae and was called BC- digbyano-mossiae.

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