Cattleya percivaliana was discovered by William Arnold, a collector for Sander’s Ltd., when he was traveling in a remote area of Venezuela. Reichenbach named C. percivaliana to honor Mr. R.P. Percival of Birkdale, Southport, England. Mr Percival was an enthusiastic private grower of orchids- a hobbyist, described by his friends as “the genial Birkdale orchidist.”
Unlike many people whose names appear in orchid nomenclature, Percival took his namesake orchid seriously. When Reichenbach was criticized for writing too many nice things about C. percivaliana, Percival sent Reichenbach a bouquet of flowers from his best clones to reassure Reichenbach that C. percicvaliana was indeed a lovely thing. Mr. Percival exhibited C.percivaliana at flower shows everywhere and in 1884 received two First Class Certificates from the Royal Horticultural Society, one for a large, richly colored clone, and another for an alba clone.
The fragrance I can described as “spicy” that some of my friends and I myself like it, but not everyone does(out of 14 five of my friends don’t like the smell), and it is the only Cattleya species about which there is any doubt at all about the fragrance’s being pleasant and desirable. I can spot the flower with eyes closed since the fragrance is quite distinctive.
This is one of the easiest members of the Cattleya genus that I grow and is a vigorous, trouble-free plant. It begins growing leads in late winter to early spring and will usually make two growths in succession. Both growths will flower at the same time in late November into December. A sturdy, well-established plant will stay in flower at least four weeks.
This is in the east facing window of my kitchen, weekly weakly fertilizer alternated with seaweed mix.
Cattleya percivaliana requires lots of sun and air to obtain the best growth and the most flowers. Repotting should be done in the spring before the plant is in active growth.
* the flower is not yet fully opened, I just had to take pictures before the weather outside freezes again....
this is a late bloomer: this is also considered as one of the Christmas orchids....