Cattleya acuensis

This marvellous miniature orchid has a flower with a brilliant colour and gem-like sparkle.  I grow it bright and cool, next to Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and Angræcum germinyanum.

This orchid was named after the mountain it comes from, Mt. Açu, the second highest peak in the splendid Organ Mountains (Serra dos Órgãos) National Park.  This species occurs between 1800-2300m elevation. 

The taxonomist who named it may not have understood that that the c-cedilla (ç) in açuensis isn’t permitted by the nomenclatural rules of Botanical Latin and should have spelled it assuensis to mimic the phonetic sound of its namesake, Açu.

© Uluwehi Knecht (text and photo)