Cattleya Horace   1 comment

Cattleya Horace

Photo by Gene Crocker, Carter & Holmes ORchids, courtesy of OrchidWiz

Registered  in 1938 by Flandria Orchids in Belgium, this plant has become iconic in the world of Cattleya hybridizing.  It is a prolific parent, with over 219 direct F1 offspring, and over 1000 progeny.    However, it’s tremendous influence on modern Cattleyas  would only come to light after it was transported to Stewarts Orchids of California, and “discovered” almost 15 years later!

A hybrid of  C. trianaei and  C. Woltersiana, Horace’s incredible usefulness as a parent is the amazing influence it has over shape and flower size, while still allowing colors other than lavender to be expressed.  The secret of this extraordinary ability stems from the C. trianaei parent.  This species has some very shapely clones, but seems to be very recessive when it comes to color.  The magical and mysterious genetic melting pot that is orchid hybridizing has produced a spectacular flower that combines the shape and size of a fantastic modern Cattleya with the color-recessive nature of C. trianaei.  Not only has this allowed the hybridizer to create some fantastically colored flowers and advance form and shape, but to do so with some certainty of the outcome (a very rare thing in orchid hybridizing).  Izt is not without its drawbacks, however.  Horace tends to pass on a thin substance, which translates into shorter lasting flowers in some instances.  Some hybridizers comment that the offspring of Horace share a certain “sameness” and are somewhat boring as a consequence (“Seen one, seen ’em all” syndrome}.  Lastly, those searching for yellow and art-shade offspring find that only a small percentage of Horace’s offspring will actually demonstrate these colors.

The color forms produced with C. Horace range from pinks to lavenders to yellows and to art shade pastels, and even semi-albas have been produced (white with a colored lip).

Among the best known of C. Horace’s offspring is C. Goldenzelle, a fine art shade Cattleya with clones ranging from hot lavender-pink to bright and clear yellow.   Alone, this hybrid has received 24 flower quality awards from the AOS, from 75-85 points.  The cross has received 36 awards from the worldwide orchid community at large.

And with over 207 progeny already into the 3rd generation, this hybrid is now cemented into the collective conscience of the orchid world.

C. Goldenzelle ‘Frank Smith’ copyright Brian Monk, 2010

Blc. Heather’s Gold ‘Rosy Cheeks’ AM/AOS – A hybrid between Goldenzelle and Heather Kiawat, copyright Brian Monk, 2008

Other exceptional offspring of C. Horace include C. Melody Fair, a wonderful semi-alba that is arguably the most influential parent of this line since its parent, Stephen Oliver Fouraker; and C.  Drumbeat, which has 174  direct offspring and has influenced Cattleya breeding to 4 generations removed.

Lc. Melody Fair ‘Sun #2’, photo & plant Mauro Rosim, courtesy of OrchidWiz

Blc. Drumbeat ‘Heritage’ HCC/AOS, photo Jim Connell, courtesy OrchidWiz


One response to “Cattleya Horace

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  1. That does it. I’m going purple. That is one of the prettiest orchids I’ve seen in a long time and the color is fantastic. I’m jealous!!
    Bj – JOS

    Bj Honkamp - JOS

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