From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the genus of moths see:, see Laelia (moth).
Laelia anceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
Subtribe: Laeliinae
Alliance: Cattleya
Genus: Laelia
Lindl., 1831

See text.

Laelia is a small genus of 25 species[1] from the orchid family (Orchidaceae). This is one of the most important and popular orchid genera, because of the beautiful flowers, their genetic properties[clarification needed] and because they are fairly easy to cultivate. John Lindley did not specify his reasons for naming this orchid as he did;[2] one possibility is that he named it after Laelia, one of the Vestal Virgins. Laelia is abbreviated L. in the horticultural trade.[3]

Laelia species are found in the subtropical or temperate climate of Central America, but mostly in Mexico. Laelia speciosa is a high-elevation plant, preferring sunny, dry and cool conditions. The others grow in the rainforest with a warm, humid summer and a dry cool winter. The species L. albida, L. anceps and L. autumnalis prefer higher and cooler altitudes.

Laelia is one of the orchid genera known to use crassulacean acid metabolism photosynthesis,[4] which reduces evapotranspiration during daylight because carbon dioxide is collected at night.

Most are epiphytes, but a few are lithophytes, such as Laelia anceps. They are closely related to Cattleya, but have twice as many pollinia. Stems are usually short, however the stem of Laelia anceps can be more than 1 m long. The ovate pseudobulbs are clearly separate. These are about 6 – 30 cm long. One or two waxy, leathery leaves develop from each pseudobulb. This leaf can be up to 20 cm long. The inflorescence is a raceme, which can be 30 cm long, with up to eight flowers, growing from the top of the pseudobulb. These flowers can be pink to purple, with a beautifully colored purple lip becoming white close to the column . They bloom in spring or autumn. Albino varieties are rare and therefore prized. Due to high demand for such a rare mutations, many horticultural labs use modern tissue culture or mericloning techniques to increase their availability.

Members of this genus tend to be fairly easy in culture, and some plants are surprisingly drought-tolerant. Culture is highly dependent upon the natural habitat of the species in question, although many do well as mounted (plaqued) specimens so that the roots receive plenty of air circulation and a sharp wet-and-dry cycle.

The Brazilian Laelias, after being classified for several years under Sophronitis,[5] have now been placed in the genus Cattleya.

Species formerly placed in the genus Schomburgkia have been moved either to the genus Laelia or Myrmecophila.[6]

Laelia species readily form hybrids within the genus, and with other genera, including Cattleya, Brassavola, and Rhyncholaelia.


Laelia gouldiana
  • Laelia albida Bateman ex Lindl.
    • Amalia albida (Bateman ex Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Cattleya albida (Bateman ex Lindl.) Beer
    • Bletia albida (Bateman ex Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Laelia candida Lodd. ex W.Baxter
    • Laelia discolor A.Rich. & Galeotti
  • Laelia anceps Lindl.
    • Amalias anceps (Lindl.) Hoffmanns.
    • Amalia anceps (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Bletia anceps (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Cattleya anceps (Lindl.) Beer,
  • Laelia anceps subsp. anceps
    • Bletia anceps var. barkeriana (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Laelia barkeriana Knowles & Westc.
    • Laelia anceps f. chilapensis Soto Arenas
  • Laelia anceps subsp. dawsonii (J.Anderson) Rolfe
    • Laelia anceps var. dawsonii J.Anderson
    • Laelia dawsonii (J.Anderson) Crawshay
    • Laelia anceps var. schroederiana Rchb.f.
    • Laelia anceps var. sanderiana Rchb.f.
    • Laelia anceps var. hallydayana O'Brien
    • Laelia hallidayana (O'Brien) Crawshay
    • Laelia sanderiana (Rchb.f.) Crawshay
    • Laelia schroederae Crawshay
  • Laelia aurea A.Navarro
    • Laelia rubescens var. aurea (A.Navarro) M.Wolff & O.Gruss
  • Laelia autumnalis (Lex.) Lindl.
    • Amalia autumnalis (Lex.) Heynh.
    • Bletia autumnalis Lex.
    • Cattleya autumnalis (Lex.) Beer
    • Laelia autumnalis var. atrorubens Bachb.f.
    • Laelia autumnalis var. venusta
    • Laelia autumnalis var. xanthotrophis Rchb.f.
    • Laelia autumnalis var. alba B.S.Williams
    • Laelia venusta Rolfe
    • Laelia autumnalis f. atrorubens (Backh.f.) Halb.
    • Laelia autumnalis f. xanthotrophis (Rchb.f.) Halb. & Soto Arenas
  • Laelia crawshayana Rchb.f.,
    • Laelia crawshayana var. leucoptera Rchb.f.
    • Laelia leucoptera (Rchb.f.) Rolfe
    • Laelia bancalarii R.González & Hágsater
  • Laelia eyermaniana Rchb.f.
  • Laelia furfuracea Lindl.
    • Amalia furfuracea (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Cattleya furfuracea (Lindl.) Beer.
    • Bletia furfuracea (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
  • Laelia gloriosa (Rchb.f.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia gloriosa Rchb.f.
    • Bletia gloriosa (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f
    • Epidendrum fimbriatum Vell.
    • Schomburgkia crispa Lindl.
    • Bletia crispina (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Bletia wallisii Rchb.f.
    • Schomburgkia fimbriata Hoehne
    • Schomburgkia crispa var. alba L.C.Menezes
  • Laelia gouldiana Rchb.f.
  • Laelia heidii (Carnevali) Van den Berg & M.W.Chase
    • Schomburgkia heidii Carnevali
  • Laelia lueddemanii (Prill.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia lueddemanii Prill.
    • Schomburgkia lueddemanii var. costaricana (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f.
  • Laelia lyonsii (Lindl.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia lyonsii Lindl.
    • Bletia lyonsii (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Schomburgkia carinata Griseb.
    • Schomburgkia lyonsii var. immaculata H.G.Jones.
  • Laelia marginata (Lindl.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia marginata Lindl.
    • Cattleya marginata (Lindl.) Beer.
    • Cattleya crispa (Lindl.) Beer (1854) nom. illeg.[7]
    • Bletia marginata (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
  • Laelia moyobambae (Schltr.) C.Schweinf.
    • Schomburgkia moyobambae' Schltr
  • Laelia rosea (Linden ex Lindl.) C.Schweinf.
    • Schomburgkia rosea Linden ex Lindl.
    • Bletia rosea (Linden ex Lindl.) Rchb.f.
  • Laelia rubescens Lindl.
    • Amalia rubescens (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Cattleya rubescens (Lindl.) Beer
    • Bletia rubescens (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Laelia acuminata Lindl.
    • Laelia peduncularis Lindl.
    • Amalia acuminata (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Amalia peduncularis (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Laelia pubescens Lem.
    • Cattleya acuminata (Lindl.) Beer
    • Cattleya peduncularis (Lindl.) Beer
    • Laelia violacea Rchb.f.
    • Bletia acuminata (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Bletia peduncularis (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Bletia violacea (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f.
    • Laelia inconspicua H.G.Jones
    • Laelia rubescens f. peduncularis (Lindl.) Halb.
  • Laelia speciosa (Kunth) Schltr.
    • Bletia speciosa Kunth
    • Bletia grandiflora Lex.
    • Laelia grandiflora (Lex.) Lindl.
    • Cattleya grahamii Lindl.
    • Laelia majalis Lindl.
    • Amalia grandiflora (Lex.) Heynh.
    • Amalia majalis (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Cattleya majalis (Lindl.) Beer
  • Laelia splendida (Schltr.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia splendida Schltr.
  • Laelia superbiens Lindl.
    • Amalia superbiens (Lindl.) Heynh.
    • Cattleya superbiens (Lindl.) Beer
    • Bletia superbiens (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Schomburgkia superbiens (Lindl.) Rolfe
  • Laelia undulata (Lindl.) L.O.Williams
    • Schomburgkia undulata Lindl.
    • Bletia undulata (Lindl.) Rchb.f.
    • Schomburgkia violacea Paxton
    • Cattleya undulata Beer
  • Laelia weberbaueriana (Kraenzl.) C.Schweinf.
    • Schomburgkia weberbaueriana Kraenzl.


The genus Amalia Rchb. is generally included here.


  1. ^ "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". 
  2. ^ John Lindley (1830–1840). The genera and species of orchidaceous plants. Ridgways; available from Biodiversity Heritage Library. p. 115. 
  3. ^ "Alphabetical list of standard abbreviations of all generic names occurring in current use in orchid hybrid registration as at 31st December 2007". Royal Horticultural Society. 
  4. ^ Gilberto Barbante Kerbauy; Cassia Ayumi Takahashi; Alejandra Matiz Lopez; Aline Tiemi Matsumura; Leonardo Hamachi; Lucas Macedo Félix; Paula Natália Pereira; Luciano Freschi; Helenice Mercier (2012). "Crassulacean Acid Metabolism in Epiphytic Orchids: Current Knowledge, Future Perspectives". Applied Photosynthesis, Dr Mohammad Najafpour (Ed.), ISBN 978-953-510-061-4. 
  5. ^ C. van den Berg; M. W. Chase (2000). "Nomenclatural notes on Laeliinae – I.". Lindleyana. 15 (2): 115–119. 
  6. ^ AOS article "Farewell Schomburgkia"
  7. ^ "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Laelia at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Laelia at Wikispecies