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Selected Weblinks. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Linden, Lindenia 4: 22 Lycaste virginalis as syn. Lycaste skinneri plate in: Curtis's Bot. Magazine Orchidaceae , vol. Series Lycaste skinneri var. Warner - B. Williams : The Orchid Album Lycaste skinneri plate 41 in: Frederick Sander : Reichenbachia I , Categories : Species of Orchidaceae Lycaste virginalis.
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Kent in H. Veitch, Man. Reference: Brummitt, R. Wikispecies has an entry on: Lycaste virginalis.
Lycaste virginalis - from wet nurse to white nun
Lycaste skinneri , also known as Lycaste virginalis , is a species of epiphyte orchid that resides in the south of Mexico , Guatemala , El Salvador and Honduras , at an average altitude of meters above sea level. Long leaves grow from its thick pseudobulbs. They can vary from being completely white in the Alba variety, passing from different tones of pink to lavender. A mature plant can produce between 4 and 12 flowers during the time of its blooming, which lasts between 6 and 8 weeks. It is a hermaphrodite plant capable of producing millions of seeds inside of a fruit in the form of a capsule. Nevertheless, the necessary conditions for the germination include the presence of a specific fungus , which results in the plant being very scarce whose commercialization is prohibited in Guatemala.
It grows both epiphytic in trees and lithophyte on rocks in wet montane forests and pine-oak-liquidambar forests at an altitude of up to meters above sea level This species was described by John Lindley in It grows both epiphytic in trees and lithophyte on rocks in wet montane forests and pine-oak-liquidambar forests at an altitude of up to meters above sea level. White Nun Orchid blooms in the winter and early spring from the erect inflorescence, with a few at once, 15 to 30 cm long, single flowered inflorescence with the peduncle being concealed by inflated sheathing bracts. The flowers are waxy, very intense smell, about 15 cm in diameter. Sepals long-lanceolate, from white to violet-pink. Petals are elliptical, broad, strongly arched forward, gently pink on top, and reddish-purple inside.
While flowers on all the white forms are maddeningly delicate when handled and bruise very easily, they are certainly worth the effort involved in growing them to perfection. Healthy flowers have excellent substance, crystalline texture and can last up to six weeks in good condition if keep cool, bright and dry pink forms last notably longer than albas. Click on images to open in an expanded lightbox or to view footnotes. Above left, lip and column detail on a cultivated Lycaste virginalis f. This beautiful species caused great excitement when it was introduced into ornamental horticulture in Europe years ago, particularly as collectors became aware of the amazing variety of flower color forms available in imported wild plants. Hundreds of thousands of flowering-sized plants were collected from the cloud forests of central Guatemala and exported to Europe where all ultimately perished due to losses in transit, improper cultivation, the fact that they were in collections abandoned or destroyed during wars or were lost amidst the subsequent economic depressions of the early 20th century.
Lycaste skinneri orchid plant care and culture
The white form of Lycaste virginalis , which is often sold under the name Lycaste skinneri , is the national flower of Guatemala. Lycaste Orchid. Usually epiphytic, the two or three leaved pseudobulbs of Lycaste orchids become wrinkled with age. The pleated leaves sometimes last two years, but often drop off before the plant blooms. The single, fragrant flowers, which grow on spikes from the base of recent pseudobulbs, last six to eight weeks on the plant. Lycaste cruenta has very fragrant two to three inch flowers which have greenish sepals, yellow petals, and an orange lip. The flowers bloom in the spring.