This weekend was the Orchid Exhibit of the Asociacion Venezolana de Orquideas. Orchid Societies seem to be a reflection of Venezuelan society, lots of disagreements, jealousies and bickering, so that they have divided themselves into three groups in the Caracas area. I belong to none of them, but collborate with all. This exhibit was held at one of the largest shopping malls in Caracas, inside of a tent structure on the terrace. This mall is simply too big. I have been there now six times in my life, five times (three this week) for orchid exhibits and once to buy a present.
Yesterday morning I went there with a cameraman from Canadian TV who interviewed me about orchids and Venezuela. I took my camera, but I used a flash only to learn once again, that it just does not work. Pictures come out with no depth, colors are funny. So, today I went back with my tripod and did long exposures with artificial light which works ok, but only where the ligthing is good. Fortunately, some of the best plants were under the best ligthing of the place.
While Cattleya Mossiae tends to be the star of this show among Venezuelan Cattleyas, this year it was Cattelya Lueddemanianna that won the day. The weather has been too cool delaying flowering. Above left the winner of the top prize for the show, a Cattleya Lueddemanianna Coerelua owned by Agustin Morales, who took the time when I knew little about orchids to teach me quite a lot. This flower was huge, perfect in symmetry and shape and, on top of that. it was the rare coerulea form. Compare it with another good Cattleya Lueddemanniana top right. Notice that it is very nice, but slimmer, has a smaller span for its sepals.
Two very nice Cattleya Lueddemanianna of the purple form, the most common. The one on the left had a deep yellow that I loved even if the flowers were drying out. The one on the right had a spectacular deep purple.
Top left another nice Cattelya Luedemanianna Corelua. Top Right: This plant is mine, it won to my surprise the prize as the best Cattleya Jenmanii of the show. It was a surprise, because it was the first time it had ever flowered. It has very good shape and in the day between setting up the show and the judging it darkened quite a bit, which is what made it win. Next year it should be spectacular. Curiosuly, I had never won first prize for a Venezuelan Cattleya before last September with a plant of mine, when another of my Cattleya Jenmanii’s won, now I have for two shows in a row. This is a combination of the relatively rarity of this Cattleya as well as the fact that they do very well in my orchid terrace.
These two hyibrids won first place in their categories for theri deep colors. The one on the left is a Cattleya hybrid, the one on the right is a Potinara.
This spectacular specimen of Venezuela’s Cattleya Violacea was in the same booth where my plants were and won first place. It had 14 very nice flowers of Cattleya Violacea (You can alo find Cattleya Vioalcea in Brazil)