Jayr Fregona Júnior was born in the state of Espírito Santo, one of the most rich or the most rich state of Brazil in orchid species. He is plastic surgeon and orchidist. He created and maintains the site Orkideas (http://www.orkideas.com.br) besides a list of discussion with the same name. In his homage, Lou Menezes described the natural hybrid between Brassavola tuberculata and Cattleya guttata, under the name of Brassocattleya fregoniana

ON: Jayr, why did you start to cultivate orchids? Which was the magic moment of attraction?
JF: My first contact with orchids happened in 1980, when a friend of mine, Gilmar L. Pimentel, invited me to look for orchids in the borders of Linhares lagoons. My father had a boat et my friend needed one to make easy his stroll. Although we didn't find any thing, he gave some plants which have been planted on the trees in my ranch. They stayed there but I didn't show any interest on them, not for that time.
In 1990, when I was at the college, another friend, Fernando Gil, invited me to his home to see his father's coin collection (also one of my hobby). We sit down on the balcony, in front of the orchid greenhouse and his father asked me to look for an orchid when went to the state of Bahia for fishing. He taught me how an orchid was. Thus, in my next fishing trip, along the Peruipe river, looking at every tree and seeing a thousand of "orchids" (nowadays I know they were bromeliads not orchids), I found something that should be an orchid which two buds. When I got home, I thought: “The orchid flower is said to be exotic, so I will see this flower before giving the plant to Fernando”. I put the plant in a crotch of a tree and looked at it every day waiting for the bud opening. After 15 days of anxious waiting, I said to my self:
“It should be really exotic because 15 days have passed and they haven't opened yet”. The wait went on and nothing, 15 days more and the doubt arose: “May they open during the night and close at the morning?”. Some nights, in different times, I tried to get the plant of-guard but nothing, it stayed unruffled, with two green bud without opening. So my interest lost down until forgetting the plant there. One day, my father who has never heard about orchids, told me: "Did you see the plant you brought from Bahia? It is loosening seeds". That was the moment the dummy's ears started to grow and the orchidist flame lighted. In a hurry, I went to there and saw a thin powder, I got it and went to the laboratory, look at the microscopic and saw the nucleic seeds. Thus the thought came again: "I will see how to sow this and instead of giving Fernando juts one plant, I will give many”. This very saturday I bought the book "O cultivo de Orquídeas no Brasil" (Orchid cultivation in Brazil), by Waldemar da Silva. At the end of the week, I have already read three ice and in the Monday, I was able to seed.
The fungi were really a trouble and I was upset to notice that, after trying 8 months, there was not germination or the fungi came out. The rest of the seeds I threw on the tree fern had germinated and the plants were 2cm long.
I gave the plant to my friend and started to get many other from other orchidists, besides the demands to try to sow their plants.

ON: Besides this fact, was there any influence (people or fact) regarding your relationship with orchids?
JF: I can also mention: Éledio Braz Dalmaschio, a great friend who encouraged me a lot
Wladyslaw Zaslawski , great friend and master in every thing needed; Auceu Berger, friend and professor about cultivation and genetic.

ON: How long have you been cultivating orchids? ?
JF: At about 12 years.

ON: How many plants do you have?
JF: I have been reducing a lot the number of plants because there is no time to take care of them. Although I have never counted, I believe I have at about 2000 matured plants and the same number between flasks and “seedlings”.

ON: How long do you spend taking care of your orchids daily?
JF: As I said, nowadays time is not enough, so I have someone to take care of them but during the week-end I spend sometime with them.

Do you prefer hybrids or species? Why?
JF: I prefer species because it is something limited. As a collector, I believe we should have an aim and if we think that a species, although far way, is something more defined than hybrids which can be infinite.

ON: Among yours, do you have a favorite plant?
JF: There are many such Cattleya walkeriana semi alba “Corpus Christi”; Laelia crispa estriata “Baronesa”; Cattleya warneri semi alba “Jayr Fregona”.

Cattleya walkeriana semi alba “Corpus Christi”

ON: Which are the climate conditions in your place?
JF: Hot climate, at the sea level.

Cattleya nobiolior amaliae

ON: Do you have a cultivation tip to share with us?
JF: The plants need fertilizer to stay alive inside the pots. So be rigorous in the matter and you will have wonderful plants. Concerning the sow, I will repeat the same thing Wladyslaw Zaslawski told me when we first met: “Jayr, to sow is simple but you should do right to get the right results, do not try to improvise or change formula, the possibility of getting wrong is bigger.”

Is there a short or an amusing story connected to orchids you can tell us?
JF: There are many stories... Once I bought many plants of the same salesman and he gave me an ordinary cross of the species. Many times after the plant bloom and it was a wonderful C. warneri semi alba, completely different from the other I've seen. When I told him about, he said: "You are luck because there is nothing good resulting from this cross, except for this plant you're showing me. And, look, many of them have already bloomed."

ON: There is a natural hybrid from your state (Espírito Santo) which pay homage to you. How did you find this plant?
JF: The natural hybrid between C. guttata x Brassavola tuberculata has been described by L.C. Menezes as Brassocattleya fregoniana, however some people believe that this hybrid is, in fact, the same as Bc. Tramandahy - between C. tigrina (ex-leopoldii) and Brassavola tuberculata, which has been described before. Even I don't know what to think about because if we consider C. guttata as a different species from C. tigrina (ex-
leopoldii), we should consider that as a different hybrid. However if we consider that C. guttata is the same species as C. tigrina (ex-leopoldii), we will have only one hybrid but which one would be a valid taxon? That which has been described first or which has been described from the older species? Because if it is the same species, C. tigrina (ex-leopoldii) doesn't exist any more and everything will be considered as C. guttata which is the older taxon described. So I don't know how it should be considered but I let this questions to the botanists.
Concerning the story about this plant, in 1992, my friend Fernando told that L.C. Menezes was looking for a plant which would be a natural hybrid between Cattleya guttata e Brassavola and we decided to look after it in order to send her. We strolled around Vitória and didn't find anything. Many years ago, I found the plant when I was walking with Elédio, we got 3 cuttings and I send one to L. C. Menezes, who decided to pay homage to me named it with my name. I've never count on this but it happened.

Cattleya nobiolior amaliae

ON: One said that orchidophilia a soft manifestation of madness. Have you done any "orchidophilic" insanity?
JF: Yes, once I decided to visit an unknown habitat with 3 friends. I would be a long trip, at about 400 km of paved road and 180 km without pavement. Everything was agreed, we would go in my 6.000km car to visit the habitat. I was just starting to drive. All of them canceled the trip but I decided to go.
Everything was alright, I traveled tranquil the 400 km of paved road listening to a good music. The second phase, things got worst. At the 9 km , the car skidded, crushed against the steep bank and turn upside down. Briefly, the car was considered as total loss and I should stay in the next city waiting for the next bus to come back home.
I tried to convince the cops to bring me there or to find a car to rent but they didn't listen to me. So I got home without visiting the habitat.

ON: Is there anything you want to add?
JF: : Yes, I would say that orchids are the pretence, they are the great excuse to share and to meet friends.
In exhibitions, people are showed, not the plants. Have you though that how many times you have heard or you have done the question: “John Doe” didn't come or he didn't come to this show” (nobody asks if "such-and-such" plant comes). So, cultivate your friends more than your plants, althought the plants are beloved, at the end, they bring friends.

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