Laelia purpurata and Neotinea ustulata

The world of beautiful orchids with colors that look very charming is very much asked for every flower-loving community.

Laelia purpurata

Gouache on cotton rag. 58 x 76cm

Laelia purpurata must be one of the most popular orchids in cultivation around the world and is the State flower of Santa Catarina, Brazil and sometimes cited as the national flower of Brazil. The annual orchid show in Joinville attracted over 190,000 visitors in 2008 – just to see this one species. Nevertheless, in the wild, it is almost extinct although formerly more widespread, native to the regions of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
Although this painting was based on photos of plants growing in pots, I chose to imagine them growing in their natural epiphytic habit with from top, varieties tipocarnea and flammea. Thanks to Yug, Allen and Mauro of OSF for the stunning photos which initially inspired this work.

Neotinea ustulata

Gouache on 35.5 x 51 cm 100% cotton rag
2010

I found this for the first time this year thanks to Miquel Ranea who has an enormous knowledge of local orchids. In our region this is an open woodland species (growing here under Pinus pinea in a clump of Quercus coccifera) flowering in May, whereas I understand more northern European populations favour more open country. It is a stunning orchid to find with the contrast between the purple hoods and white lips setting them out against the surrounding vegetation.