citrina (La Llave &
Lex.) Withner 1998
citrina La Llave & Lexarza
Cattleya citrina (La Llave & Lexarza) Lindley
(La Llave & Lexarza) Reichenbach f.
Encyclia citrina (La Llave & Lexarza) Dressler
Cattleya karwinskii Mart.
name(s): Yellow Serpent; Hiaj gukuan ma hiaj a (Oaxaca);
Genus name hails from the Encyclia section from whence it was
elevated, with the Greek Eu prefix meaning "true" and
chilo meaning "lip." The species name refers to the yellow
Plant: Epiphytic; normally pendant
plants and flowers; ovoid pseudobulbs, 4-6 cm in length, 2-3 cm wide,
commonly covered by a persistent papery sheath (note: do not remove
this sheath); leaves: silvery-green, 2-4 per pseudobulb, elliptical,
acute or closely obtuse, 18-25 cm in length, 2-4 cm wide. The foliage
is very noticeably glaucous, with a fine powdery "film" over
Flowers: Inflorescence: 6-10
cm in length, 1-2 large (5-6.5 cm) hanging flowers on each; blooms are
pale yellow to canary yellow or almost orange; fleshy sepals and petals
are elliptical, 5-6.5 cm in length, 1.5-2 cm wide; petals are similar
but a little bit wider; lip more or less of the same length, with darker
veins and ruffled texture, united with the column at the base. Lip is
somewhat variable and may be lighter or darker than the petals and sepals.
See illustrations below.
Fragrant: Yes. Flowers emit
a strong lemony fragrance.
Bloomtimes: Late winter to spring.
Habitat: Epiphytic in dry oak or pine
- Guerrero: Leonardo
- Jalisco: Mascota.
- Oaxaca: Mpio. San
Pedro Juchatengo, Santo Domingo Albarradas, Dto. Teposcolula.
Bright light (grow with Cattleya) and plenty of air movement; give ample
water, but let dry between waterings; intermediate to cool temperatures.
Grows well mounted or in slat basket.
Other Notes: The flowers are used
as decorative elements in religious ceremonies in its native range.
may be upright or pendant, but the flowers are always pendant. The
botanical illustration at left, depicting a nonresupinate flower,
shows how early botanists misunderstood the pendant nature of these
flowers, and thus misrepresented their growth habit.
Flowers are golden yellow
with varying degrees of white crenulations in the lip. Here is a
form with a lot of white in the lip.
Photo at right by Libor
Jankovsky of the Botanická Zahrada Arboretum at
the Mendelova Zemedelská a Lesnická Univerzita
in the Czeck Republic.
is an intermediate form with only a white border the very tip of
Photos by Joseph
may exhibit darker lips and petal tips, as shown at right. This
form has a longer, more deeply veined lip.
Photo by Andy Phillips.
- The Cattleyas and Their
Relatives vol. 5; Carl L. Withner; Timber Press 1998. pg.137-140.
- Manual of Cultivated
Orchid Species; Bechtel,
Cribb & Launert; MIT press 1992; pg. 180
- The Genus Encyclia
in Mexico; Dressler & Pollard; Asociacion Mexicana de Orquideologia
1976; pg. 82
- An Introduction to
the Orchids of Mexico; Leon A. Wiard; Cornell Univ. 1987; pg.
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