Cattleya mossiae coerulea

This coerulea variety is but one of very many, of one of the earliest of the species to be popular with early collectors.   It was first introduced to cultivation by George Green of Liverpool, who received it from La Guaira Venezuela 1836.   It first flowed in the collection of Mrs. Moss, also of Liverpool, after whom it is named.   The original specimens had three or more flowers per spike, 15-17.5cm.  (6-7 ) across with pink or rose lilac sepals and petals (lighter or deeper).   The lip has a crisped margin, and is extremely variable in colour but almost always with central yellow markings extending from the yellow throat.  The lip was coloured the same as the sepals and petals with  a central portion of the inside having violet veining.   No two clones are identical, hence the large number of varieties known.   There is an alba version.   The species was established and described by Sir.William Hooker. 

Its was found on a mountain range to the north of Venezuala near the coast, where the plants form a sheath as they complete their growth cycle during the summer, rest during their dormancy then form their flower buds and flowers the following spring it is important to keep the sheath dry during this period.   New growths with sheath follow flowering. 

Plants need a warm, well lit spot when in growth; will tolerate a slightly cooler well lit place when resting.   Humidity and  air movement need to be constant, ample water when in growth reduced when at rest.   If potted the compost needs to be open to afford good drainage and air passage to prevent stagnation of the medium and the drying of the roots between wettings.   A little moisture retentive substance is however beneficial.