Monday, 14 December 2015 19:48

Rhyncholaelia digbyana

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moderate to bright light
allow to dry between watering
50% is optimum
warm temperature tolerant
blooms in late spring - summer


Rhyncholaelia digbyana is the national flower of Honduras.  Best grown mounted, but no moss for padding or retaining mioisture.  The roots like to dry off quickly. They prefer high light conditions.

Tom P. earned 2nd place at the June 2015, NVOS "Show and Tell".



The International Orchid Register

Rhyncholaelia digbyana

Synonym Flag
This is not a synonym
Synonym Genus Name



SOURCE: The International Orchid Register


The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia 

Common Name Digby's Beaked Laelia [English Orchid Enthusiast 1800's]

Flower Size to 7" [17 cm]

A hot to warm growing, medium to large sized, epiphytic plant from Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica at elevations of 10 to 1000 meters with 6" [15 cm], elongate, compressed, closely spaced psuedobulbs with a single axillary , elliptic, erect, stiff, fleshy, 8" [20 cm] leaf. The entire plant is glaucous, and the terminal, erect, 3" [7.5 cm] long, inflorescence subtended by a large sheath, bears a single large, lemon scented, flower that appears in the summer.

This species does best mounted on wood or tree fern, given plenty of bright light and ample water while growing and a lessening after the bulbs have matured.



  • Bletia digbiyana [Lindley]Rchb.f 1861
  • *Brassavola digbyana Lindley 1846
  • Brassavola digbyana f. fimbripetala (Ames) O.Gruss & M.Wolff 2007
  • Brassavola digbyana var fimbripetala [Ames] H.G. Jones 1962
  • Cattleya digbyana (Lindl.) Gentil 1907
  • Laelia digbyana [Lindley]Benth. 1880
  • Laelia digbyana var fimbripetala Ames 1932
  • Rhyncholaelia digbyanan f. fimbripetala [Ames] Hawkes 1964



  • W3 Tropicos
  • Kew Monocot list
  • IPNI 
  • Lankester's Epidendra Website CR
  • Edwards's Bot. Reg. 32: t. 53. 1846 as Brassavola digbyana
  • Xenia Orchidaceae vol 2 Rchb.f 1862 as Bletia digbyana
  • Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as Brassavola digbyana
  • Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 as Laelia digbyana drawing fide
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 9 1958 drawing as Brassavola digbyana
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 5 1959 drawing as Brassavola digbyana
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 33 No 9 1964 photo as Brassalvola digbyana
  • Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 3 1970 drawing as Brassavola digbyana
  • Die Orchideen #10 37-40a tafel 10 Rudolph Schlechter 1971 photo fide
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 4 1979 photo
  • AOS Bulletin vol 53 no 10 1984 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol55 No 2 1986 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 56 No 4 1987 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 57 No 1 1988 drawing
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 64 No 1 1995 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 66 No 3 1997 photo AS Brassavola digbyana
  • Cattleyas and Their Relatives Vol 5 Withner 1998
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 68 No 5 1999 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 69 No 4 2000 photo
  • Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Lieferung 42/3 2001
  • Australian Orchid Review Vol 68 No 1 2003 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 74 No 2 2005 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 74 No 10 2005 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 1 2006 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 8 2006 photo
  • AOS Bulletin Vol 76 No 3 2007 photo
  • Icones Orchidacearum fascile 10 plate 1074 Hagsater & Soto 2008 drawing fide
  • Orchid Digest Vol 73 #1 2009 drawing
  • AOS Bulletin vol 78 No 5 2009 photo


SOURCE: The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia


Cattleya Source

Common Name: Digby's Beaked Laelia

Habitat: Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras. Rhyncholaelia digbyana is found growing in sunny locations on the Yucatan peninsula. They grow in tangles of brush and are exposed to a lot of sun and air circulation. One author reports that they can be seen growing on the side of the road on the way to Chichen Itza. It has been reported that they are found growing on bushes and among thorny acacia plants in dry areas of Central America.

Plant Size: Medium. Rhyncholaelia digbyana resembles a medium-sized unifoliate Cattleya. The pseudobulbs are stiff and dark green and the foliage is dark green with silver flushes. Sometimes the undersides of the leaves and pseudobulbs are flushed with maroon.

Flower Size: 7 inches (17 cm)

Flower Description: The large flowers are apple green to a greenish cream in color. The lip is impressively frilly and quite distinctive. Rhyncholaelia digbyana var. fimbripetala has frilly petals in addition to the lip. Sometimes there is a picote edge on the lip and a magenta flush on the back side of petals. The plants are quite fragrant at night. Turning on the light will cause the plant to temporarily stop perfume production until darkness commences again. The plant usually produces a single flower from a large sheath. Sometimes two flowers are produced, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

Bloom Season: May to August

Growing Temperature: Intermediate, Warm

Additional Information: Rhyncholaelia digbyana needs bright light, intermediate growing temperatures and good air circulation. Although it may be grown successfuly in well drained pots, the plants grow best when mounted on cork or grown in slatted wood or plastic baskets. Rhyncholaelia digbyana is slow to recover from repotting or other tramatic disturbances and may take a year or more to begin new growth. Let the plant dry out between watering to prevent rotting.

Rhyncholaleia digbyana is frequently used to create complex Cattleya hybrids where it is used to bring its fantastic frilly lip to the genetic mix. Sometimes it is used to add a picote edge to the lip in hybrids with other genera. The color of the other parent is dominant in hybrids. The first successful hybrid with this species was flowered in 1889 between Rhyncholaelia digbyana and Cattleya mossiae and was called BC. digbyano-mossiae.

Synonyms: Bletia digbiyana; Brassavola digbyana; Brassavola digbyana var. fimbripetala; Cattleya digbyana; Laelia digbyana; Laelia digbyana var. fimbripetala; Rhyncholaelia digbyanan f. fimbripetala


SOURCE: Cattleya Source











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