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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Laelia briegeri Blumenschein AKA: N/A. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Brazil. This species is found in the region around Diamantina in the state of Minas Gerais at 3200-4600 ft. (980-1400 m). Plants grow on sandstone with their roots protected by moss, lichens, and other low-growing vegetation. CLIMATE: Station #83538, Diamantina, Brazil, Lat. 18.2S, Long. 43.6W, at 4183 ft. (1275 m). The record high temperature is 100F (38C), and the record low is 39F (4C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 69 73 74 75 75 75 79 79 78 74 73 70 F AVG MIN 52 53 56 59 60 61 62 63 62 60 56 53 DIURNAL RANGE 17 20 18 16 15 14 17 16 16 14 17 17 RAIN/INCHES 0.7 1.2 2.9 4.3 9.6 13.7 8.1 6.7 9.8 2.9 2.7 0.9 HUMIDITY/% 75 71 72 76 81 83 80 80 80 81 79 76 BLOOM SEASON * * * * DAYS CLR @ 9AM 7 5 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 3 6 RAIN/MM 18 30 74 109 244 348 206 170 249 74 69 23 C AVG MAX 20.6 22.8 23.3 23.9 23.9 24.1 26.2 26.1 25.6 23.3 22.8 21.1 C AVG MIN 11.1 11.7 13.3 15.0 15.6 16.1 16.7 17.2 16.7 15.6 13.3 11.7 DIURNAL RANGE 9.5 11.1 10.0 8.9 8.3 8.0 9.5 8.9 8.9 7.7 9.5 9.4 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 3000-4000 fc. Bright light should be somewhat filtered or diffused, and plants should not be exposed to direct midday sun. Strong air movement should be continuous. TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 75-79F (24-26C), and nights average 61-63F (16-17C), with a diurnal range of 14-17F (8-10C). HUMIDITY: Near 80% most of the year, dropping to 70-75% in winter and early spring. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from spring into autumn, but amounts decline in late autumn resulting in a 2-3 month winter dry season. Plants should be watered frequently while actively growing, but the roots need to dry rapidly after watering. Water should be gradually reduced in autumn after new growths mature. Brazilian growers recommend using pure, salt-free water when cultivating rupicolous laelias. FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly while plants are actively growing. A high-nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial from spring to midsummer, but a fertilizer high in phosphates should be used in late summer and autumn. REST PERIOD: Winter days average 69-73F (21-23C), and nights average 52-53F (11-12C), with a diurnal range of 17-20F (10-11C). In the habitat, rainfall is low for 2-3 months in winter, but moisture from heavy dew is often available. Water should be reduced for cultivated plants, but they should not remain completely dry for long periods. Occasional early-morning mistings between infrequent waterings should provide adequate moisture in most growing areas. The McQueens (1993) reported that plants require a dry rest with only occasional mistings given to prevent undue shriveling of the plant. Water may be increased slightly if leaves or pseudobulbs show signs of excessive shriveling. Fertilizer is best eliminated until heavier watering is resumed in spring. GROWING MEDIA: Plants are most often grown in pots filled with a very coarse, open, fast-draining medium. The medium needs to be sufficiently open so that the roots dry rapidly after watering. Small pots are better than large ones because the medium in larger pots remains wet for too long after watering. If the roots do not dry quickly enough, they eventually start to rot. Some growers use small pots filled with broken pieces of sandstone and chopped tree-fern fiber. Repotting or dividing is best done when new roots are just starting to grow. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. In the habitat, plants flower in late spring or early summer. As one of the rupicolous or rock-growing laelias, Laelia briegeri needs warm days, cool nights, high light and humidity, and a rapidly drying medium. These requirements have contributed to its reputation of being difficult to grow. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A small, 2.4-8.0 in. (6-20 cm) sympodial lithophyte. PSEUDOBULB: 1.2-4.0 in. (3-10 cm) long by 0.2-0.6 in. (0.6-1.5 cm) wide. The pale green pseudobulbs may be short and squat or more or less cylindrical. LEAVES: 1.2-4.0 in. (3-10 cm) long. A single sub-erect to spreading leaf is carried at the top of each growth. It is grooved above and lightly keeled below. INFLORESCENCE: 4-8 in. (10-20 cm) long, rarely to 16 in. (40 cm). An erect to arching flower spike emerges from the top of the pseudobulb. Blossoms are carried near the top of the inflorescence. FLOWERS: 3-5. The long lasting, bright yellow blossoms, which all open at the same time, are 1.6-2.2 in. (4.0-5.5 cm) across. They have broad sepals and petals that open fully to produce a nice flower form. Many growers consider them to be among the loveliest of the rupicolous laelias. Petals and dorsal sepal, which may be egg shaped to elliptical, measure 0.9-1.2 in. (2.3-3.0 cm) long by about 0.4 in. (1 cm) wide. Broadly sickle-shaped lateral sepals are slightly shorter. The recurved lip is about 0.7 in. (1.7 cm) long with large sidelobes that roll upward to completely enclose the column. The relatively broad midlobe has two keels that extend most of its length. The center lobe has very wavy or frilly margins. Flowers are normally bright yellow, but an alba form is known, and flower color may range from creamy white to dark yellow-gold. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is 2n = 80. Hybrids using Laelia briegeri may contribute flaring and splashing to the color of the sepals and petals. Plants were first used for hybridizing in the mid 1970's. REFERENCES: Chapman, S., T. Johnson, and K. Rose. 1988. The rupicolous laelias; Section Parviflorae. A paper written for The American Orchid Society judge training program. Fowlie, J. A. 1975. With Ghillany in Brazil part X. Rediscovering Laelia jongheana in unique grutas on the Pico do Itambé. Orchid Digest, 39(6): 231-238. Fowlie, J. A. 1990. The subplateaus of the northern Serra da Espinhaco and rupicolous Laelia species. Orchid Digest, 54(1): 36-37. Hamilton, R. Orchid nurse. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7. McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1993. Orchids of Brazil. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Miranda. F. E. 1990. Brazilian laelias - Part III: Section Parviflorae. American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 462-472. Nickou, J. 1990. Culture of rupicolous laelias. American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 455-459. Pabst, G. 1975. Some novelties among Brazilian orchids part VII. Laelia angereri Pabst. Orchid Digest, 39(4): 153. Pabst, G. 1984. The section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid Digest, 48(1): 13-21 and 24-32. Translated and reprinted from 1978 Die Orchidee, vol. 29: 156-165, 196-200. Withner, C. 1990. The cattleyas and their relatives, vol. II:the laelias. Timber Press, Portland, OR. PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: Fowlie, J. A. 1975. With Ghillany in Brazil part X. Rediscovering Laelia jongheana in unique grutas on the Pico do Itambé. Orchid Digest, 39(6): 231-238. Fowlie, J. A. 1990. The subplateaus of the northern Serra da Espinhaco and rupicolous Laelia species. Orchid Digest, 54(1): 36-37. McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1993. Orchids of Brazil. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Miranda. F. E. 1990. Brazilian laelias - Part III: Section Parviflorae. American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 462-472. Nickou, J. 1990. Culture of rupicolous laelias. American Orchid Society Bulletin, 59(5): 455-459. Pabst, G. 1975. Some novelties among Brazilian orchids part VII. Laelia angereri Pabst. Orchid Digest, 39(4): 153. Pabst, G. 1984. The section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid Digest, 48(1): 13-21 and 24-32. Translated and reprinted from 1978 Die Orchidee, vol. 29: 156-165, 196-200. Withner, C. 1990. The cattleyas and their relatives, vol. II:the laelias. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 25612329 ......................................................................... Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any way without permission. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <email@example.com> __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 1 - Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione" 250 pages of culture information. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 2 - Dendrobium" 850 pages of culture information for more than 1230 Dendrobium species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 1 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-0-4 Full page color photograph of each species. 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