Confusion about Cattleya dowiana 'aurea' by orchid vendors?
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  #1  
Old 11-30-2021, 07:10 PM
thefish1337 thefish1337 is offline
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Confusion about Cattleya dowiana 'aurea' by orchid vendors?
Default Confusion about Cattleya dowiana 'aurea' by orchid vendors?

I was reading this really good AOS article about a new form of Cattleya dowiana and formal descriptions of color forms written in 2015 by Franco Pupulin. I was comparing pictures of Cattleya dowiana on orchid roots and on Fred Clarke's photos. It seems like a lot of the forms that are claimed to be aurea bear much more resemblance to the Costa Rica forms than the Columbian forms (which are considered the aruea subspecies)

In fact you will notice that by far the vast majority of dowiana sold most closely resemble this particular dowiana variety, forma chrysotoxa:



Very rarely do you see anything that looks remotely close to the forms of Cattleya dowiana aurea that were originally described:





My hypothesis is that many American breeders took plants from Costa Rica and Panama, and over the years have attempted to select more yellow forms to achieve an aurea instead of sourcing true aurea from Columbia. Some of this may also come from the taxonomic history of Cattleya dowiana with some people believing them to be separate species or not separate at all. I struggle to trust American breeding lines when so many sold as "aurea" show extensive pigmentation at the tips of petals and sepals.

I have also heard that the AOS judging may have driven breeders to the forms we see most commonly available today. Apparently certain colors of the labellum were preferred by judges. This wouldn't be the first time AOS judges have opted to take a USA centric and ignorant view when it comes to Central and South American orchids.

I'm curious what others thoughts are on this matter, would you like to see more of these "forms" for sale which are much more recognized and available for other Cattleya species? Do you think that many of these plants being sold as "aurea" are actually derived from the Columbian subspecies? Personally, I favor diversity of color forms and formal recognition.
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:32 PM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Confusion about Cattleya dowiana 'aurea' by orchid vendors? Male
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A lot of confusion results, when someone who does not understand genetics, tries to improve on a plant through sib crosses - with plants that may or may not belong to the same variety.

The same confusion applies to Brassavola nodosa, Ascocentrum (now Vanda) miniatum/garayii, etc.
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