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Laelia grandis is another of the large Cattleyodes species, and produces plants as large as those of L. purpurata or L. crispa. Laelia
grandis has been subject to a lot
of confusion with L. tenebrosa, but the moment the correct distributions were found, it
is quite easy to separate them (flowers are, of course, different). Laelia grandis
is warm-growing, coming from the tropical State of Bahia, and basically inhabits two types of forests. Near the
coast, the plants grow on the tropical rain forest, high on the very tall trees. This kind of forest in Southern
Bahia has been almost completely destroyed, so it is very difficult to find the species. That kind of forest used
to go south all the way into Espírito Santo, but has also been destroyed there. This makes very difficult
to actually delimit the occurrence areas of Laelia
grandis and L. tenebrosa as any present sizable populations of L. grandis
are still found to the north and west to their range and L. tenebrosa
to the south of its range. Laelia
grandis is, however, still common
more to the interior, where the plants inhabit deciduous forests which are not so humid and trees not so tall.
Here, plants are exposed to more sunlight and are still very common. Unfortunately, these forests are also being
Distribution Map for Laelia grandis.
The species has a somewhat large distribution in South Bahia State, but as the types of forests the plants grow
are being quickly destroyed, there are concerns about the future of the species. Altitude is basically sea level
up to about 200 meters (approx.650 ft.) high.
||On 1, we see a
typical flower spike of Laelia grandis. The flowers are medium-sized for the section, about 4-5"
across and resemble those of Laelia
crispa, with their wavy and twisted
segments. In terms of color, they look more like washed-out Laelia tenebrosa
than anything else, especially the yellowish segments. The lips are also similarly colored, with a white background,
but markings are almost always in tones of light wine-pink. In most cases, lips have only a ring of color and veins
spreading from it, but very rarely the color takes over the whole lip surface.
On 2, we see a close-up of a better-colored (more intensely) flower of the species. This is
also about as good-shaped one can expect flowers of Laelia
grandis to be. Sadly, I have seen
people using the excuse of considering the species as the same as Laelia tenebrosa
to cross the two. Yes, you get improved Laelia
grandis flowers, but then you have
a HYBRID. This is a recent very unfortunate trend that is going to end up the existence in cultivation of several