all rights reserved 2006 Greg Allikas

Cattleya percivaliana is a species of the Venezuelan Andes and is found mostly
in Trujillo state but also neighboring states of Lara and Merida.
It can be found between the elevations of 4000-6500 feet (1200-2000m).


Cattleya percivaliana grows both on trees and on rocks. 
At higher elevations it can be seen growing on steep rock faces.


Sometimes it can be found growing among grasses and low shrubs as a lithophyte.
Often, it has the company of other orchids such as epidendrums and sobralias.


Cattleya percivaliana plants are smaller than some other labiate cattleyas
and the flowers usually have a nice full shape.


There are several desirable color forms of C. percivaliana besides the typical lavender.
This is the well known semi-alba type, 'Carace'. Other colors are coerulea and albescens. 
'Summit' is probably the most famous dark lavender 'perci'.


Here is the famous tree in Paramo de Sisi where the first 'Carace' 
was placed by the late Rafaelito Canizales' mother many years ago. 
Nobody knows exactly where the original plant was collected.
All semi-alba C. percivaliana come from that plant. The plants
in the foreground are what remains of Rafaelito's collection. 


Some of the other orchids that can be found growing in the same area as 
C. percivaliana are Epidendrum secundum, which also occurs in other colors.


Epidendrum unguiculatum has pendant panicles of greenish-yellow flowers. 
Here it is growing on a rocky road cut.


Sobralia violacea is a widespread species with flowers that range from 
lavender blue to almost white. 


People who live in areas where these fabulous cattleyas grow tend to 
take them for granted. Here we see C. percivaliana growing on a rooftop in Carace.

 

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