ON - Cattleya eldorado, for example, just occurs in open woodland? It means, it needs high light? And about the altitude? Which are the habitats of other species, C. luteola, C. violacea, C. lawrenceana, C. jenmanii?
  C. eldorado.Foto/photo: Kleber Lacerda   KL - Cattleya eldorado occurs mainly in open woodlands but it also occurs in campinarana, rarely in igapós and dryland forests (sporadically), always in lowlands (bellow 200 m above sea level).
It can be also founding in the banks of the rivers next to the woodlands showing that it loves good luminosity.
The acceptable band of luminosity in a woodland is ample as demonstrated by Braga and according to article I published in CAOB Bulletin.
  Cattleya luteola occurs in várzea forests and also occurs on the top of high trees in igapós, forests and dryland forests although sparsely. Cattleya violacea has a vast distribution, in almost all Amazon region and prefers banks of the river, lakes and fluvial archipelago in general mainly with dark water, where there is igapós vegetation and also in more open dryland woods of Rondônia and Pará.
  Some open woodlands
and campinaranas have
a reasonable population
of Cattleya violacea, and
there, we find its natural
hybrid with Cattleya eldorado, Cattleya X brymeriana, which
is not so rare as we believe.
  Cattleya X brymeriana. Photo: Kleber Lacerda
  Cattleya lawrenceana is found in mountainous woods, higher altitudes, mainly in Serra Parima, in Roraima and Amazonas. In low mountainous vegetation, dryland woods of Roraima and vegetation of transition, we find Cattleya jenmani, at the superior limit of the geographical Cattleya eldorado distribution. Unfortunately, both are disappearing in the nature, the first one by the selective harvest and the second by the fire.

ON - Can we assume that the habitat of C. eldorado and Brassavola martiana is the same or the occurrence of Brassocattleya X rubyi is a rarity?
  Bc rubyi. Foto/photo: Kleber Lacerda   KL - There is just only one plant known as Brassocattleya rubyi, I had the honor to be introduced to this plant in 1979 by the discoverer Professor Pedro Ivo...
It is still in its tree, a macucu in a woodland in the margins of the road Manaus-Caracaraí, at least until last year, according to the information I got and by the digital photo reproduced here.
  Brassavola martiana can occur in woodlands, but it is common in várzea and igapó forests and riverbanks in any kind of vegetation.
  ON - And about your interest in Catasetum? How did it appear? Is it just about this genus or all inside the same subtribe? Did you choose this group, Catasetinea, or you have been chosen by it because you were in the geographical center of distribution of the genus Catasetum and Cycnoches?

KL - It was almost accidentally, meanwhile I discovered new species and varieties I should study more the subtribe; however I can deny that I have been finding them interesting because in 1976 I already cultivated two plants of Catasetum barbatum, in the region of Porteira falls, Trombetas River. One of them had enormous and reddish fimbriae, the most beautiful I've heard however I've never got another like this one. The plant stayed there when I moved.


ON - And how is occurrence of this group, habitat, kind of support, luminosity, environmental humidity, rainfall?
    KL- The Catasetinae in Brazil are, in some areas, in a very fast process of speciation, because they are orchids with very fast vegetative cycle.
It is amazing the way they "colonize" decayed trunks in flood areas (dams and igapó). Many times the first pseudobulb gets more than a span of the hand and blooms. In the stores of the core of plywood thrown away in Manaus, we could see once thousands of Catasetum gnomus, plants that had germinated recently and were adult.
João Batista found in an igapó a Ctsm. gnomus which only one pseudobulb had 26cm length...
In Amazon region, they occur where there is organic matter in decomposition, such as decayed trunks and palm trees where the litter is accumulated.
Where there is more humidity, they germinate and grow easily, such as slits, woods, roofing tiles, etc.
  As stated by a friend of us at AOA Norman Penny who said when he comes back from Rio Branco, there we can not stay long without take a bath, otherwise, Catasetum grow in the legs...
The cultivation of Catasetum should respect phenological aspect of each species. Some of them need a long dry cool rest without fertilizer after blooming (the great part of the species coming from subtropical and temperate regions), before receiving again water, heat and abundant nitrogen fertilizer. Some others have their growth period at the same time and just after the blooming, in this case, the cultural cares change! Those come from the Amazon region have different needs according to the altitude, it means places above 400 m or humid lowlands. It would be exhausting to discourse about here, I recommend to every one who is interested the work Arthur W. Holst "The World of Catasetums", Timber Press, 1.999, where the subject is detailed
Concerning the other genera, there is not so much difficulty, Mormodes and Cycnoches adapt more easily to the cultivation. Dressleria are terrestrial plants that grown in direct sun and high humidity. Clowesia has specific needs and is more adaptable to no-tropical region of South America and Mexico, such as Clowesia rosea.
I repeat that Catassetinea have, as a general rule, a short cycle in the nature. They grow wonderfully, bloom but sometimes, form so many capsules that become weak and die. However they produced seeds quickly disseminating the species. In cultivation, when the plant is weak, the best is to eliminate the flower buds because the energy spent in successive blooming finishes for drying up one or more pseudobulbs and the plant never increases. This is more evident with Cycnoches.
It is known that stagnant water inside the new leaves provokes, in general, the rot of the sprout. It happens so often that some artifices have been created to avoid the death of cultivated plants, as the technique of drop-by-drop falling into the substrate created by Vitorino P. Castro. Now the unavoidable question: and in the nature, what happens if it rains when the buds appear? Well, they die too. It is common the death of the shoots and even the whole clump in natural environment... In artificial cultivation, we ought to save the plants but in the nature each one should save itself...



ON - And about Catasetum incurvum that was considered extinct and you have found it? We did not find it in recently publication about the species of the genus, is it a synonym?

  KL - Recently I have written about this species in the ABRACC Newsletter (Catasetinea association). I do not know if it was considered as extinct neither who said that. When I found it, based on the literature I have, I thought it was Catasetum stupendum Cogn. as it was identical to this one illustrated in the Lindenia plate I had. Thereon I knew that it had been also found in the same occasion, in Ecuador, in Moron Santiago region, it was about to be described and had already a chosen name and everything, according to Dodson. Talking in person, we got the conclusion that it was question   Catasetum incurvum. Foto/photo: Kleber Lacerda
  of a described species, with the name of Catasetum incurvum Klotzsch in 1854, that had incorrectly recombined by Mansfeld and maintained by Schweifurth as a variety of Catasetum saccatum Lindl.