Cattleya is a tropical genus of epiphytic and lithophytic plants that produce fairly to exceptionally showy flowers, and by many their species and hybrids are considered THE orchid.
There are basically two groups of Cattleyas, the so-called unifoliate and bifoliate. The species in the unifoliate group produce small to large-sized (up to 8′) flowers in colors ranging from yellow to lavender (excluding the color forms, that add a lot of variation); the plants grow fusiform pseudobulbs topped with one fleshy, flattened, elliptic leaf.
The bifoliate group produces smaller flowers (up to 5′ or more, depending on the species), but in larger numbers (up to 40+ on a spike, also depending on species), in colors ranging from green to yellow to brown and pink to lavender; the plants grow tall, cylindric, pencil-like, ringed pseudobulbs that can be up to 5’+ tall in a couple of species – but in most get only to 1′ to 2′).
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Excerpt Reprinted from AOS.org