This 3- to 5-inch-tall orchid produces fragrant, long-lasting, 3- to 4-inch-wide flowers — very large for such a small plant. The flowers have a mild, spicy scent that some say has a note of bubblegum to it.
In its native range in the state of Bahia in Brazil, the plants are ephiphytic, growing on the trunks and crotches of rough-barked trees 10 to 20 feet off the ground. But in cultivation, breeders use it to develop compact hybrid varieties ideal for growers who don’t have a lot of space.
Cattleya aclandiae is commonly known as Lady Ackland’s Cattleya, in honor of Lady Lydia Elizabeth Ackland, wife of Sir Thomas Dyke Ackland who was the first European to grow the plant successfully to flower in 1840.
It’s flowering now (March 8, 2016) in the Student House (closest to Plant Science Building). Stop by during regular visiting hours, weekdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.