Laelia, abbreviated L in horticultural trade, is a small genus of eleven species from the orchid family (Orchidaceae). This is one of the most important and popular orchid genera, because of the beautiful flowers, their genetic properties and because they are fairly easy in culture. It is probably named after Laelia, one of the Vestal Virgins. Another possibility is the name borne by female members of the Roman patrician family of Laelius.
They are found in the subtropical or temperate climate of Central America, but mostly in Mexico. Laelia speciosa is a high-elevation plant, preferring sunny, dry and cool conditions. The others grow in the rainforest with a warm, humid summer and a dry cool winter. The species L. albida, L. anceps and L. autumnalis prefer higher and cooler altitudes.
Most are epiphytes, but a few are lithophytes, such as Laelia anceps. They are closely related to Cattleya with only the number of pollinia differing. Stems are usually short, however the stem of Laelia anceps can be more than 1 m long. The ovate pseudobulbs are clearly separate. These are about 6 - 30 cm long. One or two waxy, leathery leaves develop from each pseudobulb. This leaf can be up to 20 cm long. The inflorescence is a raceme, which can be 30 cm long, with up to eight flowers, growing from the top of the pseudobulb. These flowers can be pink to purple, with a beautifully colored purple lip becoming white close to the column . They bloom in spring or autumn. Albino varieties are rare and therefore prized. Due to high demand for such a rare mutations, many horticultural labs use modern tissue culture or mericloning techniques to increase their availability.
Members of this genus tend to be fairly easy in culture, and some plants are surprisingly drought-tolerant. Culture is highly dependent upon the natural habitat of the species in question, although many do well as mounted (plaqued) specimens so that the roots receive plenty of air circulation and a sharp wet-and-dry cycle.
Laelia albida is the most northerly-growing laelia in Mexico. This epiphytic orchid bears ten or more small (5 cm) pale pink flowers on a half-meter terminal inflorescence in late winter to early spring. It is cold-tolerant close to freezing in the winter and needs to be kept dry until new vegetative growth is seen in late spring. It seems to do much better mounted on cork or hardwood than potted.
Laelia gouldiana is a plant of the orchid genus Laelia and native to Mexico. Laelia gouldiana can grow 1 meter (3 feet) tall. It has pink flowers.
Laelia speciosa, commonly known as the Mayflower orchid, is an orchid found in area of Mexico with high elevation of 1,400 m (4,593 ft) to 2,400 m (7,874 ft). The plant is very drought resistant and can tolerate cool to warm conditions. It blooms from summer to fall, producing fragrant flowers. There are usually three to four flowers on an inflorence.
More Types of Flowers
Woodsia is a genus of ferns in the family Woodsiaceae.
Woodsia alpina, commonly known as Alpine Woodsia, is a fern found in northern latitudes in North America and Eurasia. Also known as Northern... more >>>
Maianthemum (including former Smilacina) is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Ruscaceae, native to North America, Central America, northern Europe, northern and eastern Asia, and the Himalaya. The name derives from... more >>>
Walnuts (genus Juglans) are plants in the family Juglandaceae. They are deciduous trees, 10 - 40 meters tall (about 30-130 ft.), with pinnate leaves 200 - 900 millimetres long (about 7-35 inches), with 5 - 25 leaflets.
The 21... more >>>
Echinopsis is a large genus of cacti native to South America, sometimes referred to as sea-urchin cactus or Easter lily cactus. One small species, E. chamaecereus, is known as the peanut cactus. The 128 species range from large and treelike... more >>>
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, with two species in North America (H. virginiana and H. vernalis), and one each in Japan (H. japonica) and China (H. mollis).
They are... more >>>
Types of Flowers: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z