June 2024 - Tim Culbertson "Laelia purpurata, Varieties and Hybrids"

Tim CulbertsonTim Culbertson

We are delighted to welcome back Tim Culbertson who will speak on Laelia purpurata, the Queen of the Cattleyas. Tim will be showcasing the history and incredible diversity of forms of this species and discuss some of the more interesting hybrids.


Although large, these spectacular cattleyas grow well outside in Southern California, and with their myriad colors and a relatively unique blooming time, these are great plants for every collection, extending the blooming times in the Cattleya Alliance through July.  With more and more Laelia purpurata clones and seedlings coming in from Brazil, and large grexes being bred in the United States, these stately, magnificent plants have seen a resurgence in popularity of late, and with good reason!  By the end of this presentation, you will have a new appreciation of the range of color forms of Laelia purpurata and its hybrids, as well as an appreciation of their beautiful flowers and ease-of-growth.  Tim will be providing a plant table of outdoor growing cattleyas, including plants of Laelia purpurata and its hybrids.


Tim teaches middle school kids for a living. One of his other passions has always been plants. Tim began growing orchids as an offshoot from working at Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia just after college.  From the very beginning it was all about Paphiopedlums, particularly awarded and select clones of historic importance, of which his collection numbers nearly 3000.  While Tim loves finding old, rare stepping stones in Paph breeding, he also does a little hybridizing of his own, and growing up of his own babies is a blast. 


Tim is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society, and has served in various capacities with various orchid societies in California and on the East Coast. Tim loves meeting other people who like orchids too, and doing so often finds him traveling to shows, vendors, and peoples’ greenhouses to see the latest and greatest in new hybrids and to get the best orchid gossip. Tim likes to be involved in plants as much as possible: in addition to Longwood, he has worked at the Smithsonian Institution tending to their orchids, and for years for the United States National Arboretum, collecting rare plants and documenting cultivated species and hybrids for their herbarium.  In short, Tim really likes plants. 

Wed, 06/05/2024 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm