Welcome to the Clowesetum


The American Orchid Society recognizes the Clowesetum as an inter-genetic hybrid-cross of the Catasetum and the Clowesia    (https://catasetinaecanada.weebly.com)


This group of orchids is again an interesting breeding combination producing multiple flowers, vigorous growth and the possibility of flowering two to three times a year. Typically, their now trigger-less flowers have a flower life that is longer than the pure Catasetums.  Clowesetum are heavy feeders during their growing period but a dry rest period of differing lengths according to species is needed after flowering, specifically, once the plants start to drop leaves. Water is gradually reduced, then withheld. If at all, water sparingly only to prevent pseudobulbs from shrinking too much. Once new growth reaches 4 inches and new roots reach 2 or more inches long, watering is resumed, with normal abundant watering taking place once the potting mix again approaches dryness. Fertilize well during the active growing season as the plant does not get a chance to be fertilized during its dry rest period. Clowesetum like humidity of 50-70% with warm day temperatures of 75-80 F (24-27 C) dropping 10-15 F (6-8 C) at night. Repot just as new growth is beginning at the end of the dry rest.  (https://catasetinaecanada.weebly.com)



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Clowesetum NoID ( Clowesia russelliana 'David N.' x Catasetum tigrinum 'SVO' )


The success of the hybrid Black Jade inspired this cross.  Ctsm. tigrinum has a white flower with light pink spots and blooms 2-3 times a year with a cascade of 20-25 flowers per stem. The flowers of Cl. russelliana are lime green with darker green striping and wonderfully fragrant. Plants bloom exceptionally well, and it's not uncommon for plants to bloom with a single bulb producing 2 cascading inflorescences carrying 30-40 flowers! I have high expectations for this cross, which should have several predictable traits: high flower count, long cascading inflorescences, and excellent flower longevity. The less predictable traits are lip shape and flower color (I am hoping for white, but icy green would be nice).  This has significant potential to be an exceptional hybrid! I can hardly wait to see these plants bloom.


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



( Clowesetum Abigail Parsons 'SVO' HCC/AOS x Catasetum spitzii 'SVO Solid Gold' FCC/AOS )


Clowesia Abigail Parsons (Clowesia Grace Dunn x Catasetum John C. Burchett) come in a range of colors. The most striking I've seen is the cultivar 'SVO,' with olive green flowers and a rose blush, all beautifully arranged on two inflorescences of 16 flowers each. Receiving an FCC/AOS indicates the high quality of a plant and its flowers. Catasetums spitzii 'SVO Solid Gold' is just such a cultivar. When it was awarded, this plant carried 23 large, solid yellow flowers perfectly arranged on a 2-foot-long inflorescence. Truly an amazing sight!  We are using spitzii in this cross for several reasons: it has a very flat, thick hard lip, that will flatten and broaden the lips of the offspring; it had a pure yellow color that will warm up the olive green and rose blush of the Abigail Parsons; and its high flower count will produce floriferous offspring.  These qualities, along with long flower life, multiple spiking habit, good form, and pleasant fragrance make this is Clowesetum a very good prospect.


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



(Clowesia Jem's Speckled Russ 'SVO' AM/AOS x Catasetum Double Down 'XDPYL')


JEM's Speckled Russ (Cl. russelliana x Ctsm. denticulatum) is one of the few hybrids made with a summer blooming Clowesia and the small-growing Catasetum denticulatum. When awarded, this plant carried 126 white flowers peppered with maroon spots on three pendulous, foxtail-like inflorescences. This exceptional cultivar of Double Down (Chuck Taylor x kleberianum) has flowers highlighted by a bright yellow lip and dark petals and sepals, thus the name Xtra Dark Petals Yellow Lip.  This cross was made because the parental plants have a small stature and excellent floral qualities. Clowesetum is known for flower longevity and high flower count, and the Catasetum will contribute outstanding flower color. This cross will be a mini-Clowesetum, assuring significant flower life and lots of blooms with boldly spotted petals and sepals and yellow lips. This will be a home run!


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



( Clowesia warczewitzii 'SVO' x Catasetum tigrinum 'SVO' )


Clowesia warczewitzii is a small-growing species with excellent flower production and presentation on leafless plants during dormancy. Ctsm. tigrinum produces impressive cascades of 20-25 white flowers spotted in light pink several times a year.  This cross is a mini-Clowesetum.  Expect excellent flower longevity and multiple inflorescences of fragrant white to ice green flowers cascading over the sides of the pots. Have you ever bought a plant just because of its “cute factor?”  Here it is…


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids


( Clowesia Jem's Speckled Russ 'SVO' AM/AOS x Catasetum Dark Odyssey 'Midnight ' )


Clowesetum crosses are known for their flower longevity and high flower count. JEM's Speckled Russ (Cl. russelliana x Ctsm. denticulatum) is one of the few hybrids made with a summer-blooming Clowesia and the small-growing species Ctsm. denticulatum. When awarded, ‘SVO’ produced three pendulous, foxtail-like inflorescences carrying 126 white flowers peppered with maroon spots. I expect that crossing this amazing Clowesetum with Dark Odyssey (Karen Armstrong x Darkness) and its large, perfectly-formed deep burgundy flowers will improve flower shape by flattening the petals and broadening the lips. blooms will be boldly spotted or blotched burgundy, and flower longevity of 4-5 weeks is expected.


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



( Catasetum Fong Cing 'Lonely Heart' x Clowesia Upper Echelon 'Select' )


The grex Fong Cing (José Abalo x Orchidglade) has been outstanding, with surprisingly large and well-shaped flowers produced 15 or more on strong upright inflorescences. Upper Echelon (Clowesetum Jumbo Lace x Catasetum Orchidglade) is spectacular, with its full shape, bright yellow flowers and bold burgundy spotting. Add to that a flower longevity of 4-5 weeks and you have a great hybrid. What do we predict for this grex?  This is a Clowesetum (Catasetum x Clowesia), so long flower life is expected. Plants will be standard-sized, and flower stems will be upright-arching, carrying 15 or more large yellow flowers with bold burgundy spotting. Outstanding!


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



Clowesetum Abigail Parsons


Clowesetum Abigail Parsons is an orchid hybrid originated by Fred Clarke in 2011. It is a cross of Clowesia Grace Dunn x Catasetum John C. Burchett.


This is a new type of Clowesetum hybrid. Cl. Grace Dunn (Cl. warscewiczii x Cl. rosea) blooms with the classic Clowesia flower shape of dainty frilly blooms cascading over the pot carried 10 -13 per inflorescence. Ctsm. John C. Burchett (Ctsm. Joao Stivalli x Ctsm. Susan Fuchs) with its huge flat lip and rich dark burgundy color is truly outstanding. This grex will have improved flower life over the Catasetum parent; expect blooms to last 5-6 weeks. Flowers will take on the color and most of the size from the Ctsm. John C. Burchett and the Clowesia will add the frilled lip. This is a very promising hybrid.  ( SVO 2081 in 2009 )


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids



Clowesetum Black Jade


This is a very floriferous hybrid influenced by the exceptional flower count of Clowesia russelliana. The flowers will be green to deep jade green, and lips will be green with a dark burgundy center. Expect many flowers on 2-foot-long pendulous inflorescences. Yes, you read it right – Two-foot- long inflorescences.  These plants will produce a memorable show of long-lasting flowers in late summer.  A spectacular hybrid.


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids


 Photo credit: Worranittha Koenig

Clowesetum Diane Drisch


This year we're trying some mini-Clowesetums.  The hybrid genus Clowesetum (Catasetum x Clowesia) is known for flower longevity and multiple simultaneous inflorescences.  Grace Dunn (warczewitzii x rosea) produces 15+ pink and green flowers with cute frilly lips on 3-4 pendulous inflorescences from leafless bulbs in mid-winter.   Ctsm. tigrinum is a very special species: small-growing, and flowering several times a season with cascading inflorescences that each hold 15-30 white-cream blooms spotted lightly in red on the petals and sepals.  Equally important are the shape and placement of its wide petals, which fill the space between the dorsal and lateral sepals, creating a full-shaped flower.  This is a great characteristic, which is transmitted to its offspring and very valuable in hybridization.  This mini-Clowesetum will flower at 4-6” tall and bear cascading inflorescences of flowers with excellent shape in pink, white and cream.  The long-lived flowers will be produced in fall and winter.  This promises to be a very charming hybrid! ( - Fred Clarke, Sunset Valley Orchids)

Clowesetum Jumbo York


Cl. Rebecca Northen (Grace Dunn x rosea) is a well-recognized plant and good for breeding. It is easy to grow and has beautiful, frilly pink flowers with a marvelous citrus fragrance on multiple pendent inflorescences. The flowers of Orchidglade (pileatum x expansum) 'JTM' (short for 'Jamie's Tortured Midnight') are amazing, with huge lips in dark burgundy, and the plant is free-flowering, blooming 2-3 times a year. This cross makes a Clowesetum, which will lead to excellent flower longevity. The dark color of 'JTM' will produce rose/red flower colors in the offspring, and both parents will contribute their excellent well-formed and well-rounded flower shapes. All in all, this is a great pairing.


Description and photos courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids


Photo Credit:  Gloria Messler

Clowesetum White Magic


This hybrid was in my collection in the early 1990's. I had one plant with icy green flowers and the other with pure white blooms. I'm not sure what happened to those plants, but after all these years I haven't forgotten about them. When both parents were in flower, I had to re-make this cross.   Clowesia warczewitzii has a small, light green flower with darker green stripes. Plants bloom in early winter, and the flowers have a pleasant lemony scent. Catasetum Orchidglade (pileatum x expansum) has a large flower with a huge lip in light yellow with scattered red spots. Expect full-shaped flowers in light green to white, and a few may be spotted as well. Clowesetums have many good traits:  long flower life, multiple spiking habit, good form, and pleasant fragrance. This grex should be excellent, and there's a distinct possibility that some plants will have pure white flowers.


Description courtesy of Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids.

Orchid bloomed by and photographed by A. Walend 

Photo credit:  Andy Walend