Cattleya maxima

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Cattleya maxima
Cattleya maxima Orchi 01.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Cattleya
Subgenus: Cattleya subg. Maximae
Species: C. maxima
Binomial name
Cattleya maxima
  • Cattleya malouana Linden
  • Cattleya malouana L. Linden & Rodigas
  • Cattleya maxima var. aphlebia Rchb.f.
  • Cattleya maxima f. aphlebia (Rchb.f.) Roeth
  • Cattleya maxima var. backhousii Rchb.f.
  • Cattleya maxima var. hrubyana L.Linden & Rodigas
  • Cattleya maxima var. marchettiana B.S.Williams
  • Epidendrum maximum (Lindl.) Rchb.f.

Cattleya maxima is a species of orchid in subfamily Epidendroideae found from Venezuela to Peru.



Epiphytic herb with club-shaped pseudobulbs, up to 39 cm. or taller with one leaf at the top (total height of pseudobulb and leaf about 61 cm).[1][2] Leaf oblong or broadly oblong, rounded at apex, light green, up to 35 cm. long and up to 6 cm. wide, thick and fleshy.[2] Inflorescence stem up to 30 cm long, with 3-6 (upland variety) or 12-15 (lowland variety) flowers.[1] Flowers 12–15 cm wide, with lilac or pale rose sepals and petals, except the lip or labellum, which has dark purple veins and a yellow area in the middle.[1][2][3] Dorsal sepal narrowly elliptic; lateral sepals elliptic lanceolate; petals elliptic with wavy margin; lip folded forming a tube, with the front margin curly and wavy.[2] Column slender and arched.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Cattleya maxima occurs as an epiphyte on trees in dry forests from 100 to 1800 m of elevation, from Venezuela to northern Peru.[3] The upland variety can be found growing on rocky slopes.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Withner, C. (1988). The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. Volume 1: The Cattleyas. Timber Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9780881920994.
  2. ^ a b c d e Schweinfurth, C., "Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru", Fieldiana, Botany 30(3): 535
  3. ^ a b "Cattleya maxima". Retrieved 2017-05-16.