Old Cattleya Cultivar Hybrid Blooming

It is cattleya blooming season once again, This particular cattleya hybrid is one of the more popular hybrid grown within our neighborhood vicinity. This type of cattleya can bloom up to three times a year, given proper fertilization and cultivation techniques.


Cattleya hybrid ( photo taken around November 4, 2018)

We suspect that the name of this is hybrid is Cattlianthe Portia or Porcia which is a primary hybrid of Guarianthe bowringiana x Cattleya labiata.

Our old time neighbor gave us a few cuttings way back in 1991 which got them from her mother-in law who grew tried growing them at their North Fairview residence for at least 10 years.


She brought a few pots of this cattleya hybrid along with some Dendrobium hybrids, Oncidiums, native orchids ( Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium crumenatum) and started dividing them during the onslaught of the rainy season.


Within 5 years period ( from 1991 to 1996 ), Our neighbor was able to propagate the cattleya hybrid to more than 120 clumps which she grew in different types of medium from old kakawate trunks, tree fern slabs, terracotta pots then hanging them at their perimeter walls even mounted a few of these orchids at their Christmas palm.


( close-up view of the flowers)

During their blooming season, People within the neighborhood would marvel and appreciate them for the light lavender colored flowers which would bloom almost simultaneously.

They also kind to gave away several pots of these orchids to their neighbors and friends within the subdivision.

Unfortunately, They sold the old house few years ago and settled elsewhere in Caloocan. We are still clueless if this is the real name of the hybrid.


(cattleya still in bloom after almost 1 week)

They are considered by many Cattleya experts to be among the finest and most spectacular Cattleya hybrids ever bred. Cattleya Portia was registered by James Veitch & Son in 1897 and C. Porcia by H.G. Alexander in 1927.

References/ Sources:

Ball State University

Royal Horticultural Society of London




Doctor Daniel Farnacio’s Lc. Bella Blue Bird Won Best Cattleya at the 71st Mid-Year Orchid Show


Lc. Bella Blue Bird is a bluish cattleya orchid hybrid which won the “Best Cattleya”   of the 71st Mid-Year Orchid and Garden show at the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City .

Lc. Bella Blue Bird
Lc. Bella Blue Bird

The cattleya is still quite rare in cultivation and had been grown into a marvelous specimen sized by Doctor Daniel Farnacio.

Doctor Daniel Farnacio 1
Doctor Daniel Farnacio

He was interviewed by award winning television documentary QTV channel 11 and GMA channel 7 or his passion in collecting orchids and plants. He had spend quite a fortune in building his greenhouse and orchids.

Philippine Orchid Society show 030


His efforts are rewarded with a lot of his cattleya orchids entered in the competition won awards.

Philippine Orchid Society show 031

Cattleya skinneri

Senior Social Hall, University of the Philippines -Los Baños, Laguna

During  the horticulture show,   I have encountered a great specimen -sized flowering Cattleya skinneri or Guarianthe skinneri .   I bought several  potted clumps of this particular species way back in 2004 during the 58th annual orchid show in Quezon City . However during the great torrential rains of ” Ondoy ” in 2009.  Most of my Cattleya species and hybrids were lost due to fungal infections. It wipe -out almost 85 percent of my Cattleya collections. Now i still have to fully recover from the disastrous fungal infection and what was left were a few  old cattleya  hybrids that our neighbor gave to me years ago.

Cattleya skinneri was one of the focal point of this year’s  horticulture show in Laguna

Most of the serious Cattleya growers would grow  and collect Cattleya skinneri  which is also the national flower of Costa Rica . This does not provide satisfaction among growers but also a source of parent plant for hybridization .  Among the serious Cattleya orchid collectors in the country would include Dr. Hernando ” Nani ” Perez , Ms. Vangie B. Go, Mr. Antonio Padilla,  Mr. Jun Golamco , Mr. Micheal Espeso , Mr. Vicente Chin Jr.  , Mrs. Mable Chua , Ms. Mary Ann-Wu ,  Mr. Emilio Yap Jr. , Dr. Elenita S. Binay ,  Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. ,  However this is just a short list of those people who collects this orchid type , while i have seen a lot of small time  orchid hobbyists in the provinces which had grown cattleyas  in their backyard.

Cattleya skinneri or Guarianthe skinneri entered in the recent horticulture show in Laguna

It is creme de la creme of the people who grew orchids. Most of the cattleyas are still expensive in the Philippine market .  While local orchid farms would still prefer sourcing rare and new selection of BLC , LC , SLC , BC  type from Bangkok, Thailand, Taiwan , Malaysia , Florida and even in their home land in Central and South America . I have heard several stories of some pilots , seaman  and balikbayans which have also brought home some cattleya seedlings from the long sojourns from the  Americas whenever they came home.

Unlike in the past decades, cattleya growing in the city is going to be difficult , with most people lacking space and time. In my case , our shrinking space in our garden and fungal infection which almost totally wiped- out my cattleya collection still in my mind whenever i see those flowering orchids during orchid shows. How i wish those friends and relatives that visited our house had taken care of those cattleya orchids which i gave them as gift.


This delightful small-flowered Cattleya species always produces an abundance of bright rose-lavender  while there are pure white and blue type of flowers. In its native habitat of Central America . It is as much a part of this holiday for me as poinsettias during Christmas season  or the traditional everlasting daisies . Because it is so easy to grow and flower, C. skinneri is one of the most rewarding of nature’s spring-flowering orchids.

Cattleya skinneri is native to Central America, where it thrives in seasonal mountain forests from just above sea level to about 5,000 feet (2,500 meters ). Its growing range begins in southern Mexico and extends through Guatemala and Honduras into El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It is one of the most common orchids found in Costa Rica and is so popular there, it has been named Costa Rica’s national flower.

Cattleya skinneri being sold in the commercial section

In the Philippines, majority of this orchid species would flower during the months of February, March , April and early May depending on the province and climatic condition. A short drying period and a cool weather will initiate the blooming of this orchid species.

Origin of the Name:

Cattleya skinneri produces from five to 12 flowers on a spike and usually has more than one lead even on a small plant, so the result is a marvelous display of flowers.

Cattleya skinneri was one of the earlier of the Cattleya species discovered  in 1836 — just after Cattleya mossiae. It was described as a new species in 1837 by the English botanist James Bateman in his book The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala (Tab XIII). Although Bateman had never been to Mexico and Guatemala, He was the world authority at the time on the orchids of these countries because of a man named Sir George Ure Skinner, who ran a trading company in Guatemala.

When Bateman was still a student at the Natural History Museum at Manchester, England. He noticed specimens of birds and insects Skinner had sent to the museum. He wrote to Skinner asking if he would send him specimens of orchids, and Skinner responded enthusiastically, sending box after box of plants he collected in the local countryside. At times, so many plants arrived that the commercial orchid company James Veitch eventually set aside a whole greenhouse exclusively for Skinner’s Central American orchids, and every private collection in Europe soon had their collection.

Cattleya X guatemalensis from personal collection of Ms. Vangie Go

There are a lot of color variation of the species and natural hybrids ,  Most sought after is Cattleya X guatemalensis  a natural hybrid between Cattleya skinneri and Cattleya aurantiaca / Guarianthe  aurantiaca .   The name was transferred to Guarianthe based on  phylogenetic studies of nuclear in DNA  studies in 2000 and 2003.

 different yellow variation of   – Cattleya aurantiaca or Guarianthe aurantiaca

Locally, I have seen some Cattleya X guatemalensis  orchids from the collection of Mrs. Vangie Go ,  Mr. Jun Golamco and Dr. Hernando Perez . However,  I still have to obtain one for my own collection. I used to  have the two color forms of Cattleya aurantiaca “yellow” and “orange” variety ,  sadly they were also wiped-out during the ” Ondoy ” Typhoon Kestsana onslaught in 2009.

array of Cattleya aurantiaca ” yellow ” and ” orange ” varieties

Still wanting to have another plant,  I haggle with my  “suki ”  loyal seller from Malvarosa orchids . I had to choose some non-flowering Cattleya skinnerii for my collection since there is a big price difference from the non-flowering cattleya and flowering ones. This is some sort of a highlight from visiting a garden show , having to part with a new set of orchids to be added in my collection or otherwise re-acquiring  a new collection.

References :




Boosey, Jane : 300 orchids : series and varieties in cultivation ISBN -13:978-1-554407-296-5 ( 2007)

Dressler and Higgins: “Guarianthe, a Generic Name for the “Cattleya” skinneri Complex” Lankesteriana 7(2003)37—38

Big Winners at the 73rd Mid-Year Philippine Orchid Festival

Big winners at the individual orchid competition at the 73rd Mid-Year Orchid Festival show by the Philippine Orchid Society at the Flower Garden ( Hardin ng mga Bulaklak) within Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.


Most of the Vanda sanderiana orchids at the orchid exhibit were from Dr. Olivia Sanchez, Mrs. Vangie Go and Purificacion Orchids.


Vanda sanderiana variety alba

The big winners were the orchids competition were exhibited by Dr. Olivia Sanchez, Purificacion orchids, Mr. Manuel and Susan Lee.


Aside from getting blue ribbon, glass trophy, ceramic vases. Some of the winners also got cash incentives.

List of BIG Winners


Vanda sanderiana clumps


1.) Best in Show, Best Vanda sanderiana and Best Cultured Plant

Exhibitor : Dr. Olivia Sanchez


 2.) Best Dendrobium

Dendrobium jyrdii

 Exhibitor : Panings Garden


3.) Best Cattleya – (Bc. Binosa x B.nodosa ) Nakompathome Silver

Exhibitor: Mr. Manuel and Susan Lee


4.) Best Paphiopedilum and Best Foreign Species

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum

Exhibitor : Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental

5.) Best Scented Orchid


Cymbidium chloranthum

Exhibitor: Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental


6.) Best Vandaceous Alliance

Vanda Kasem’s x Vanda Chindavat

Exhibitor : Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental

7.) Best Other Genera


Pholidota imbricata

Exhibitor: Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental


8.) Best Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis Little Gem Stripes

Exhibitor: Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental

9.) Best Philippine Species

Pomotocalpa kunstleri

Exhibitor : Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental

10.) Best Oncidium Alliance

Oncidium Jungle Monarch

Exhibitor: EnR Orchids

11.) Best Philippine Hybrid

Rhyncattianthe UPCM 1975 Ruby Anniversary

Exhibitor : Dr. Ray Lo

Note: The Orchid festival will run until September 9, 2019 MONDAY – Entrance fees is Php 30 for the general public and Php 20 for students, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Special Guest Mayor Joy Belmonte at 73rd Mid-Year Orchid Show

Honorable Josefina “Joy” Belmonte -Alimurung together with Honorable Candy Medina- Atienza (councilor 6th district), Assistant administrator Attorney Lord, Engineer Zaldy Dela Rosa, Quezon Memorial Circle administration staff, affiliated plant societies, invited guests, media, social media bloggers and Philippine Orchid Society members, were treated to a grand ribbon cutting, a tour of the exhibit area and opening of the 73rd mid- year orchid and festival 2019.


Engineer Zaldy Dela Rosa shakes hand with Mayor Joy Belmonte- Alimurung ( photo courtesy of Quezon City press corp)

73rd Mid -Year Philippine Orchid Festival 2019


l-r Mr. Norberto Bautista, Engineer Zaldy Dela Rosa, Honorable Candy Medina- Atienza and Mrs. Susan Lee ( photo courtesy of Hon. Candy Medina -Atienza)


blooming phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids were given to the guests of honor

Opening was held late afternoon past 4:00 pm within Hardin ng Bulaklak ( HB/ Garden of Joy/ Flower Garden) the exhibits highlighted the blooming of several varieties of waling-waling  or Vanda/ Euanthe sanderiana which is the highlight of the festival.


several varieties of Waling- waling on display at the show

Vanda Sanderiana

 Vanda sanderiana / Euanthe sanderiana locally known as Waling-waling

It is good that there were some blooming Waling-waling during this time of the year since rainy season started a little bit late.


table judging of Cymbidium chloranthum and cattleya hybrids

It is also good that table judging for flowering orchids were introduce during this show. This will enable orchid hobbyists and the general public to appreciate the orchid competition winners up close. Most international orchid shows normally present their orchids that way.


strap leaf vandas with red and white ribbon can trace their parentage to Vanda sanderiana and Vanda coerulea.

The mayor also delighted the crowd with her three good news which were delivered during her speech after the ribbon cutting ceremonies held within Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

carnivorous plants

carnivorous plants for sale at the commercial stall ( photo courtesy of Dr. Tan)

Commercial Booths and Daily Activities


schedule of daily talks

62 commercial booths selling different kinds of plants, carnivorous plants, orchid hybrids, ornamental plants, pots, fertilizers, native orchids, ferns, fruit trees, cacti and succulents, flowering annuals, variegated ornamental plants among others.


 Pagsolingan’s Garden with Rare & Exotic Plants (courtesy of Dr. Roland Salazar )

Rare and Exotic Plants – Dr. Roland Salazar

Address: 106 Mindanao Avenue Garden Center,Mindanao Avenue , Barangay Talipapa, Novaliches, Quezon City

There will be daily lectures or talks starting today at 2:00 pm at the pavilion area within the exhibition site. Entrance fee is Php 50.00 for the general public, Php 30.00 senior citizens, students and person with disabilities with valid identification card.

73rd Philippine Orchid Society’s exhibit, lectures and commercial trade fair will run until September 9, 2019 !