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The Exotic Rainforest



Laelocattleya (Lc.)  Gold Digger ‘Orchid Jungle' HCC/AOS

Talk about the source of some serious confusion among orchid collectors!  There seems to be a lot of different opinions as to how this orchid came into existence.  It is listed on some sites as a hybrid with parents that were Epidendrum sp.,  Laelia sp. and a Cattleya sp.  I've received several e-mails informing me my previous description was inaccurate but they all have some different reason for their complaint.  A knowledgeable  orchid grower  whose opinion I trust feels this has no Cattleya in it at all!  Most say it is at least partly Cattleya. Most sites say it has won HCC/AOS awards.  A few say CCM/AOS!  Talk about confusing!  So.  My vote goes with the majority.   I've just spent hours researching this orchid and the best consensus of opinion from over 40 orchid sites leads me to believe it is an Lc.  (Laelocattleya) whose parents originally were  Laelocattleya 'Red Gold' x Cattleya 'Warpaint'.  I have no idea whether those names should actually be in single quotes or not!  There are many opinions about that subject as well.  That would make the orchid a close Cattleya relative hybrid that has five stunning rich golden yellow petals and sepals with just a tinge of deep red mixed into their color.  The lip is a deep red, almost maroon.  I have seen this plant with a lip that is mottled with the petal's yellow coloration mixed in the lip as well.  That is a result of hybridization and is similar to not all children of the same parents looking alike. The plant was reputed by some to have been originally hybridized by the now destroyed Orchid Jungle Park in Miami, FL.  A ton of research leads me to believe the ‘Orchid Jungle' is simply a name someone gave to the orchid hybrid and has nothing to do with the park.  Several hybridizers have refined the plant further and it is now at least partially the basis for a number of other orchids.  The flowers are approximately 2 ˝ inches across and have a very pleasant perfume fragrance.