I spotted this stunning cattleya orchid with twin blooms while shopping for vegetables at the Saturday FTI Market. I very rarely purchase cattleyas as I seem to have little luck getting them to thrive and bloom again. The vendor is a very amiable lady who loves her plants/orchids and raises them on a farm in Silang, Cavite, and I have repeatedly purchased herbs from her before. She mentioned that they were called cattleya “imperialis” — an apt name for an extremely regal looking pair of blooms. Cattleyas have always reminded me of my mom, so in this particular instance, I bought them despite the price, and the orchid now sits proudly in the center of the living room.
If you put your nose close to one of the blooms, you get an intensely sweet scent. It’s quite stunning really. I have sometimes read that orchids have no fragrance at all, and that is completely untrue, as some local varieties here in the Philippines can give off some very strong aromas (however, others do seem to be scentless). Reading up on cattleya care, it seems our treatment here with moss stuffed around the base is a no-no and suffocating the roots that need ample oxygen and circulation of air. We have since removed the moss, and only water every other day or so, to keep the roots moist but not overly so. There is another spike with hopefully 1-2 more blooms coming up, so if we are lucky, we will enjoy a total of say 4 blooms over a period of a month or so. The next challenge will be to keep the plant alive and hopefully get it to bloom a year or so from now… :)