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Laelia perrinii is another of the large flowered species in section Cattleyodes.
In this case, the plants are quite different from those of Laelia purpurata,
L. lobata and L. crispa, making the species possible of identification even without
flowers. In flower, Laelia perrinii is even easier to identify as the flowers have very distinctive
features. To start, the petals are usually flatter and droopier that usual; their shape is also unusual being wider
toward the tips. The lip, however, is the most distinctive part of the flowers. In Laelia perrinii,
is it very small and narrow in proportion to the other segments and this is the first thing one notices when looking
at the flowers. Something you don't see so easily is also one of the most distinctive features of Laelia perrinii, and this is the column, thin and sigmoid like in no other species. There is a wide color
variation on the species, and this is discussed at the pictures.
Laelia perrinii is widespread in the Sates of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. The species can
be found growing on large trees of the slope tropical rain forest, where the plants get good light exposure. The
species can also be found growing directly on rocks or on open forest growing on rock ledges, in these cases also
subject to high light conditions and air circulation. The species grows on the Serra do Mar and also on the Serra
da Mantiqueira, respectively the first and second mountain ranges from the coast and sort of parallel to it. These
mountain ranges are separated by the Paraíba river valley and this explains the distribution map, where
the distribution separates as altitude lowers below something around 500 meters (1700 ft., more or less). As the
Serra da Mantiqueira gets into São Paulo and Minas Gerais, Laelia perrinii
also spreads a bit into these.
Distribution Map for Laelia perrinii.
The interesting pattern that we see means that the species occurs on isolated mountains around Rio de Janeiro City,
the fist part of the band from the ocean which means the Organ Mountains, and the wider band going up to Minas
Gerais and Espírito Santo States which shows the Serra da Mantiqueira, the next innermost mountain range
which is its distribution limit to the interior.
||Laelia perrinii shows an impressive amount of color variation. The base color, seen on 1,
is lavender with a very dark lavender coloring on the lip frontlobe. The color pattern on the lip varies from a
tiny spot of color to the markings spreading all the way up to the sidelobes. The lip throat is always a very light
On 2, we see one of the semi-alba forms of the species. In fact, I don't think there are any
real semi-albas in Laelia perrinii, as all of them show a light lavender tint on the segments.
When plants flower under shady conditions, this is barely seen or not seen at all, but just move the plants to
bright conditions and the pigmentation is evident as in this photograph.
On 3, we can
see one of the many coerulea forms available these days. Although they came from just
2 plants found in nature, artificial propagation is making them available in increasing numbers. Which is good,
as these are very distinctive and showy flowers.