Cattleya maxima ("Largest Cattleya") is a species of orchid with a superficial resemblance to the labiate species of Cattleya, but with a closer genetic relationship to the Crispid Laelias (such as C. purpurata).Sometimes referred to as the "peekaboo orchid" or Christmas flower. It first discovered in the year 1777, by Spanish botanists José Antonio Pavón Jiménez and Hipólito Ruiz López during an exploration of Spain's South American colonies.In 1831, John Lindley proclaimed Ruiz and Pavón's orchid as a new species,Cattleya maxima.Prior to 2000, C. maxima was separated from the Brazilian Laelias because it had only four pollinia in its pollinarium, as opposed to eight in Laelia sensu MCMXCIX.
C. maxima flowers bloom from mid-November to early December with a purplish-lavander color. C. maxima usually grow to 2 ft. high. C. maxima have 3 sepals and a unique yellow stripe on its flower lip. C. maxima have pseudobulbs which denotes its 2 varieties, one with larger pseudobulbs and one with smaller pseudobulbs.
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