Bob Belas Photography Blog

Orchids of Summer: "Helene Belas"

Rhyn. 'Helene Belas', color

In the early 1990's, around 1992 (if my memory is correct), I crossed Cattleya schilleriana and Blc. "Ruben's Verde", and propagated the seeds. Years later, I have 8 or so plants from this cross that is registered with the Royal Horticulture Society as Rhyncholaeliocattleya Helene Belas, in honor of my mother. This hybrid is a vigorous grower that reliably produces two to three large, highly fragrant flowers per spike twice a year (summer and winter). It is beyond measure the most fragrant orchid I own, and I personally find its scent to be out of this world, with a near-perfect blend of spices and sweetness. When it's inside and blooming, you can smell it from just about anywhere in my house. It's flowers strongly resemble those of Laelia species despite the heavy dose of Cattleya genes in its genome. All in all, she's a beaut.

Best wishes,