Brassavola orchids are true night beauties of Orchids family – they have flowers of different shades of white and green, which exude fragrance at nocturnal time, that’s why sometimes they are called Lady of the Night Orchids. Brassavola is a genus of American epiphytic and lithophytic sympodial orchids, closely related to Cattleya genus and often used in Cattleya alliance orchid hybridization. Some of its representatives (Brassavola digbyana and Brassavola glauca) now are classified in genus Rhyncholaelia.
Brassavola are medium-sized plants. Brassavola digbyana and Brassavola glauca have pseudobulbs and leaves, resembling in shape Cattleya leaves and pseudobulbs, but have glaucous color instead of solid green. Flowers of Brassavola orchids are big, scented (usually at night and sometimes with some citrus notes). With narrow sepals and petals and broad lips. Brassavola flowers usually have white or green color. Brassavola digbyana has simply fantastic flowers – 7 inches wide white-green lemon-scented flower with an amazing lip. A flower lip of Brassavola digbyana is extremely frilly and beautiful, that’s why Brassavola digbyana is extensively used in Cattleya hybridization – to bring such beautiful lip shape to hybrids.
Brassavola orchid care
Brassavola orchid care is not very different from Cattleya orchid care, except that Brassavola is more drought tolerant and more prone to fungal diseases, associated with overwatering. They are warm to hot growing orchids, which means that they do well as indoor plants (but there are some cool-growing species such as Brassavola cebolleta), most splendid Brassavola species such as Brassavola nodosa, Brassavola grandiflora, Brassavola cucullata, Brassavola digbyana and Brassavola glauca are particularly hot growing and perfectly tolerate room temperatures. Brassavola species light requirements are not different from Cattleya species – bright light with some direct sunlight. Watering should be moderate and only after potting mixture becomes dry, watering should be ample, but drying between waterings is necessary. Also, ample fertilizers with balanced formulations are strongly recommended for a healthy and regularly flowering plant. The best way of Brassavola orchid growing is mounting them on slabs or tree-fern, which guarantees that plant root system will gain the necessary amount of air circulation and protect the plant from overwatering, which is deadly for the plant.
Brassavola orchids from Amazon.com
by Andys Orchids
Kawamoto Orchid Nursery