Plant Size: Large. The cigar-shaped pseudobulbs of Cattleya warscewiczii have one long, leathery leaf. Roots form after new growth is mostly mature. Pseudobulbs grow about one foot (30 cm) tall.
Flower Size: 7 to 11 inches (17.5-27.5 cm). Largest of all Cattleyas.
Flower Description: Fragrant. The typical form of Cattleya warscewiczii has lavender flowers with a darker lip and two distinctive yellow eyes in the throat. Blooms in summer on an 18 inch flower spike that bears three to seven flowers. Flowers are stacked vertically on the stem and are well displayed.
Bloom Season: Early Summer
Growing Temperature: Intermediate to Hot
Additional Information: Cattleya warscewiczii was formerly known as Cattleya gigas and is still frequently sold under this name. Growth begins in late Januarly or early February. Plants need warm temperatures and bright light at this point. Provide enough light to make the foliage yellowish-green without causing sunburn. Water sparingly until the new growth is 4 inches (10 cm) tall and then water and fertilize heavily. Repot (if necessary) immediately after flowering has finished. Flowers are huge and command your attention. At one time, this species was grown for its massive flowers to use in corsages. Several color varieties exist including albas and semi-albas.
Synonyms: Cattleya gigas; Cattleya gloriosa; Cattleya imperialis; Cattleyea labiata var. warscewiczii; Cattleya lindeni; Cattleya sanderiana; Epidendrum labiatum var warscewiczii