Written by

Clowesetum Diane Drisch


(Clowesia Grace Dunn 'Live Oak' HCC/AOS x Catasetum tigrinum 'SVO')


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! (SVO 7705) ( - Fred Clarke, Sunset Valley Orchids)

Clowesetum Diane Drisch   F.Clarke 2019 (RHS registered)

Clowesia Grace Dunn × Catasetum tigrinum (syn Catasetum hoehnei)




Ancestry (total 4) %


Catasetum hoehnei (*)


Clowesia rosea




Clowesia warczewitzii




Clowesia Grace Dunn 50%




Source:  Orchid Roots  (last updated February 2020)

(*)  Page, and link to page needed


Variety of Bloom



Source:  Orchid Roots  (last updated February 2020)





When I come across a description of the fragrant interpretation from a grower I will include it here.


"Received this in my last @sunsetvalleyorchids haul from ctsm breeder extraordinaire, Mr. Fred Clarke, and I am completely in love with it! The loveliest colors, frilly lip, and fresh minty toothpaste fragrance...what’s not to love?!"


Kay A.,  @inrootedlove,  North Carolina






Basic Grow Tips


Catasetinaes, require a dry winter's rest while in dormancy.  Clowesetums, an inter-genetic hybrid (cross of Catasetum and Clowesia) are in the Catasetinae family of orchids.  Resist any and all urges to water the orchid when you see new growth on your orchid.  New growth that shoots straight out to the side from the base of last year's bulb that is light green, could be a spike.  New growth that is dark green and heads up the side of last year's bulb is new growth.


If your new growth is a spike (as it continues growing in length it stays thin as it reaches away from the base of the bulb and resembles an asparagus tip) the bigges concern is to watch and prevent it "digging" into the potting medium, or bumping into the side of the pot and growing down into the medium.  I use cut cardboard stock as a shelf for the spike to grow along, without digging into the pot's medium.  Once it extends past the edge of the pot, gravity can then "pull" it down draping the side of the pot.


If your new growth is a young bulb, it will grow up along the side of last year's bulb, and depending on direction of the light source, will lean towards that direction.


A new early spike will not be a signal to you to water it.  Resist the urge.  The back bulbs have all the water and nutrients the new spike needs.  It will mature and bloom just fine without any assistance from you.


New growth, will also be supported by the contents of the bakbulbs.  They require no attention or assistance from you until they reach 4 inches in length (measured at the bottom leabes on down).  Then water slightly without any fertilizer  to just moisten the moss.  After about two weeks, you can start watering with your desired fertilizer much heavier.


It is suggested if possible to wait as long as possible before you begin watering your Catasetinae.  I take monthly pictures of my Catasetinaes so I can compare the progress of growth and the  shriveling of the backbulbs as it feeds the new growth.  The longer you can wait, the longer in length the new roots will grow.  If you water too soon, the roots will tend to stop growing in length because they found a water source.


If you have experience with Oncidiums, you know the back bulb(s) store(s) water for dry periods.  Oncidium bulbs once they shrivel, will always be shrivelled.  This is not the situation for Catasetinaes.  They will absorb water and return almost to the original plumpness.  Over time, they will shrivel due to old age.


Be aware that some Catasetinaes are space hogs.


Catasetinaes love high light and high temperatures saturated with humid air.  Moving air supplied by a fan will help to keep the leaves from burning in high light conditions.


(Depending where you live) Come October, slow down on watering.  If your leaves start to yellow and dry at the tips, this is a sign that th orchid is beginning the process of going dormant.  During November, water very sparingly just to keep the moss damp but not dry out.  By Thanksgiving, watering should come to an end for the year allowing the orchid a dry winter rest until new growth marks the time when dormancy is ending.



PET Method, Semi-hydroponics, or "normal" potting method?


I use the Semi-hydroponic method for my Catasetinaes.  The basic common function of the PET Method and "S/H" is that drainage holes are on the side of the pot, not the bottom.  This establishes a reservoir of water at the bottom of the pot.  You can easily add water to the reservoir by placing it in a container where the water level is above the drainage holes and water will work it's way into the pot's reservoir without getting the root-ball wet.


Here is information on the PET Method(link needed), and my semi-hydroponic method of potting(link needed).



When to pot-up from that 3" pot?


Every Catasetinae that I have received from Sunset Valley Orchids seems ready to be potted up to the next size I use.  They arrive in a 3-inch diameter pot that is also three inches deep.  I just work it gently out of that pot, remove the styrofoam (examine and make note of the roots), replace the styrofoam with fresh moss, and place in my new pot and finally back fill with tightly packed moss.I use a 4-cup liquid food container (from Glad(TM) that can be found in a grocery store's food container area (see my grow blogs).  This pot will last me about 2, maybe 3 years until it is ready for the next larger size.


Some growers swear by using a shallow pot, I prefer my deep pot for the longest roots possible.



Showing your Blooming Catasetinae


I cannot say I have had much luck showing my Catasetinaes in bloom - mostly because the bloom period of the Catasetinae rarely coincides with area orchid society meetings or shows.


Obviously, displaying your orchid with draping pendulous spikes carrying numerous blooms in a hanging pot is convenient.  You would need to come up with a way to hang your pot.


I rather spend money on Catasetinaes then invest on a traveling pot hanging system that others might wanna share without asking.


My Glad(TM) pots fit nicely into a trimmed 2-liter bottle.  I just use basic fish tank gravel to fill the bottom of the bottle as a counterweight, slide in my orchid's pot, and I have plant carriers that hold the bottle-bottoms when traveling.  I have a nice tall display showing off the blooms.



AOS Awards



Clowesetum Diane Drisch 'Louisiana'

(Clowesia Grace Dunn x Catasetum tigrinum)  AM/AOS (81 points)

Exhibitor: Alan Taylor

Photographer: Doug Stannard

Date: Jan 25, 2020

Award No: 20206554

Twelve flat, cream flowers and five buds on one 16.5-cm inflorescence; sepals and petals irregularly marked burgundy; lip fringed, double keel, butter-yellow centrally, margin marked burgundy, serrate; column and anther cap cream-yellow; substance firm; texture matte.




Grow Blogs


The current 2020 Grow Blog can be found here.

The 2019 Grow blog will be moved to here.



Questions, Comments, Typos, Broken Links? - or leave a comment below

Read 9199 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 February 2021 09:28

People in this conversation

  • Blanca A
  • Ceci
  • Guest - Blanca A

    I purchased this Clowesetum in bud at the 2020 Tamiami International Orchid Show. The bloom have opened an they are spectacular! I can't stop looking at them.


    Congratulations and envy. An advantage of the larger orchid shows (Tamiami International Orchid Show) is that you can get in advance a listing of participating vendors and do pre-orders. I do this so that I guarantee my purchases. Sunset Valley Orchids was a participating vendor here at the Pacific Orchid Exposition(POE - Feb 20 - 23, 2020) and I arranged for a pre-order of 6 Catasetinaes not willing to gamble and be limited by just what they could bring for display area.

    It is not a sin to buy an orchid in bloom, it just means that you can enjoy much sooner what you purchased.

    Comment last edited on about 2 years ago by host
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  • Guest - Ceci

    I just received exact same plant. I have no idea what to expect as far as growth or dormancy for winter. It looks exactly like your picture except two new growths and active root tips are visible. So- I’m still watering...did not fertilize.

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