Cattleya Cornelia (1893)

Week 38: Dec 14, 2020

Cattleya Cornelia (1893) 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA

(C. labiata x C. pumila)


This week I would like to present Cattleya Cornelia (1893) 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA (C. labiata x C. pumila).


Cattleya Cornelia was registered by Veitch in 1893. This is a primary hybrid between Cattleya labiata and Cattleya pumila. Both of the parents have many awards: Cattleya labiata received 92 awards and Cattleya pumila received 90 awards.

Cattleya Cornelia is one of these mystery hybrids which has never been awarded by the American Orchid Society!

However, you can find at least 3 JOGA (Japan) awards in OrchidPro.

Our current candidate was previously awarded under JOGA in Japan and the parents were also awarded: C.pumila fma.alba 'Hakushu' BM/JOGA x C.labiata fma.semialba 'Bom Dia' SM/JOGA.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 14.0 cm; NS V - 16.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 2.9 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 8.5 cm;

Petal W - 6.2 cm; Petals L - 8.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 2.5 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 8.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 5.4 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 7.0 cm.


Munekazu Eijiri of Suwada Orchids, Japan (also a JOGA judge) was kind enough to share pictures of Cattleya Cornelia (1893) 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA and the awarded parents of this Cattleya: C.pumila fma.alba 'Hakushu' BM/JOGA x C.labiata fma.semialba 'Bom Dia' SM/JOGA.

Cattleya Cornelia (1893) 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA

C.pumila fma.alba 'Hakushu' BM/JOGA

C.labiata fma.semialba 'Bom Dia' SM/JOGA

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Three concolor white flowers, one beginning senescence, on one erect inflorescence; senescent flower precludes judging this inflorescence. However, a prior nullified (non-payment) award {20196836 Nov 09, 2019 Fort Pierce Orchid Society Show (Fort Pierce, FL) River Walk Center Cattleya Cornelia (NULLIFIED) } received an HCC 77 points with two flowers of essentially similar total size but smaller sepals and petals. This plant's next bloom should qualify for a flower award, in my opinion, at least a high HCC or possibly a low AM.

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

Elegant display with good distance between flowers. Beautiful crisp white with contrasting bright yellow throated lip on a full flower. Sepals upright with good form, not overly fond of the texture on the sepals. Petals have pleasing ruffling but protrude forward more than desired but not unexpected for parentage. Nicely presented ruffled lip. Good size, width favors the larger C. labiata and gives a fuller looking flower. Overall, improvement in form, presentation and size (geometric mean) over parents. I pointed this at an AM 80.

Keith Davis (Keith Davis Orchids, NC)

This hybrid between C. pumila alba ‘Hakushu’ (Japanese for a type of whiskey) and C. labiata alba ‘Bom Dia’ (Portuguese for ‘Good Day’), is certainly impressive. In looking at other photos of C. Cornelia, all that I could mainly find are of the coerulea type and look more like what one would expect between the two species. The example we are looking at from Munekazu is much better than one would normally expect from this cross.

In looking at awarded C. pumila alba, the NS ranges from 9cm to 11 cm with an average of 10 cm. with all awards having 1 flower open. NS on C. labiata s/a awards range from 13 to 17.7 with an average of 15.2 cm. and an average of 3.5 blooms per spike.

The photos of the parents are small and I could not get them to enlarge, but it appears to me that the pumila is a decent example of a 2N alba color form. Petals seem to be fairly flat, yet not overly wide as would be the case with a 4N clone. Can’t tell if there are two spikes with one each or one spike with 2 blooms, which would be highly unusual. Seems the NS is 11 cm., a bit larger than the AOS award average.

On the labiata s/a, almost for sure this clone would have to be a 4N or either a highly advanced example from breeding of outcrosses and backcrosses. I have never seen an example of s/a labiata with fully overlapping petals as shown in the photo other than on 4N clones. This has 2 spikes with 3 blooms on each, about what one would expect from a 4N, a bit less than the average 2N.

This C. Cornelia ‘Ginza White’ overwhelmingly takes after the labiata parent in my opinion. This includes flower count, size, and shape. And this is what would be expected when you use a 4N parent of a large flowered unifoliate Cattleya with a small flowered diploid species. It is very surprising to me that no color is evident at all in the lip of the photo. It would be interesting to know what other siblings of this looked like. I wonder if Munekazu could elaborate on this issue?

As for what one person said about the 3rd bloom not being fully open, it seems to me when looking at the video that the dorsal is what makes it look this way. It does appear that the petal openness of each is about the same, showing some cupping as evident in the labiata parent. I think if the dorsal on the 3rd bloom had been touched upwards it would’ve stayed, but if not, this would have be judged as an inconsistency. If indeed it was not fully open, I think if I remember correctly, one can judge the blooming if at least half of the blooms are fully open. Correct me if I am wrong. If this is true, then you have 2/3 of the blooms to judge and they are certainly very fine for this cross.

I am attaching a photo of a cross that Gene Crocker at Carter and Holmes made called Blc. Knee Baby. This is one of the seedlings. In this cross, a 4N pumila ‘Black Diamond’ was used with a 4N large flowered Cattleya, Blc. Oconee ‘Mendenhall’. Here you can see the almost equal influence of both 4N parents, sort of looking like a pumila and Oconee on steroids. In this plant, it makes 2 blooms per spike when well grown from the strong influence of the 4N pumila despite that Oconee can make 5 blooms. But Oconee did overcome the strong tendency of pumila to make only one bloom per spike. Two well-spaced blooms is a nice balance between the parents, especially when you consider the form and substance. Blooms are about 5 inches. Things are more balanced out between parents in this example over the discussed example where the labiata reins, and very nicely so.

I know most judges no longer include in the description what might preclude a higher award, but sometimes I feel this is a very necessary input. Remember that your award description is a historical “document” for generations to come. If in this example, the forward flipped dorsal precluded a higher score, it think this would be a good thing to mention. The reason is that if it was awarded, the photograph would be of the best flower and one would probably not be able to see that there was a flipped dorsal in the photo. Future judges and students would look at the fine photographed flower and wonder why in the world this did not get a higher award. Everyone would be left hanging and guessing. Judges must study each case in front of them and they have to discuss the pros and cons. The cons are just as important to be included in the description as the pros, especially when it won’t be evident in a photo as to what knocked down the score of an otherwise fine flower.

Check out the AOS award of 82 points granted to C. percivaliana ‘Mendenhall-Summit’ (a mericlone mutation of ‘Summit’ FCC/AOS). The description lists several features that are superior to the FCC ‘Summit’, yet it receives 82 points and zero reason why it did not receive an FCC. Any judge or student looking at this description and photo would have to ask, “what the hell happened here”? I was present at the judging and there was a large specimen plant of the original plant of “Summit” brought in for comparison, side by side. Now, no one can tell you why this plant was robbed of its just award and no one in the future will ever know. It would have been so easy and beneficial to of included what precluded a higher award for all to know, if there was truly a bonafide reason. This omission is an injustice to this plant and believe me, there are many other examples of this very thing. Unless there is some sort of AOS law against this, then you may want to discuss this issue in training and at individual judging sessions when a not-so-visible specific issue precludes a higher score. Remember that the written description is a historical document and there will only be one for all that see it in the future. Do not neglect important information that should be shared to make the award description as clear for all as possible.

Keith Davis

Blc. Knee Baby ' #1 '

Trevor Yee (Accredited Judge, AOC, Australia)

The flower is more reminiscent of C. pumila with the tubular shaped labellum, while C. labiata has certainly filled it out. However, each of the 3 flowers is not consistent with petals falling forward, and the dorsal of one flower virtually horizontal. The benchmark for exhibition type cattleyas is very high with advance breeding - so does this primary hybrid stack up to our modern day awarded cattleyas.

Colour is clear and unblemished - so no issues with this aspect.

The dorsal of one flower shows slight evidence of desiccation (based on photo evidence). This would naturally remove some points for substance & texture.

Habit and arrangement are typical, and the flowers are supported and arranged well without staking.

Overall, the shape in my opinion has let it down - so I don't feel it's awardable on this flowering.

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Cattleya Cornelia

This is a stunning, white flower with good form, a beautiful ruffled, tubular lip with the contrasting yellow throat. I love the white colour of this flower, it is simple yet elegant.

The form of the flower is full, flat and round, there is some windowing between the dorsal sepal and the petals, the dorsal is erect, overall form looks good. However, I have an issue with the dorsal sepal on one flower being totally folded forward. The form does not appear to be consistent from one flower to the next. This flower is larger than the ‘Ginza White’ that was awarded in Japan however the petal width is narrower resulting in the windowing. It has the same number of flowers as ‘Ginza White’ and the flowers are nicely presented on the inflorescence.

I would love to nominate this flower for a quality award but I am holding back because of the dorsal sepal on the one flower. If all flowers had an erect dorsal sepal I would score this at a high HCC.

I would not nominate this for a quality award.

Wesley Higgins (Accredited Judge, Florida North Central Judging Center)

The position of the dorsal sepals is interesting showing how it moves during opening. The flower size is similar to the previous Cattleya Cornelia (Nullified).

This flower is not as flat as the nullified award but the white form is intriguing. The petals are wider and better shaped than the nullified flower. I would nominate it but not score above an HCC.

William Bottoms (Student Judge, Carolinas Judging Center)

Cattleya Cornelia (1893)


There are lots of things to commend about this flower not the least of which is the clear and clean white of the petals and sepals. I find the yellow in the throat charming as well. The flower size seems to be about in line with the other JOGA awards, though the petals might be a bit narrow. The first flower photo seems to be the best of the three, though all flowers exhibit some symmetry issues specifically in the petals. The ruffling on the petals is irregular across the three flowers. The flowers also don’t appear to be as flat as I would like them to be.


When taking my impressions into consideration, I think I would end up somewhere in the mid to high HCC range.


Will Bottoms

Carrie Buchman (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Cattleya Cornelia (1893) 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA

A stately white Cattleya that is a nice size compared to the two parents shown on the website. It is even larger than the JOGA award. I am more used to the lavender/purple version of this cross, and have ‘Asian Cutie’ from Suwada Orchids in my collection. The sepals on the candidate reflex apically although the JOGA picture provided by Suwada Orchids does not share this trait. Is there a culture or environment factor at play here? The column is fully enclosed with the golden glow in the basal lip peeking out; the JOGA picture has a more pronounced and darker gold in the basal lip. I would prefer the petals to more fully cover the base of the dorsal sepal they do in the JOGA picture.

What I see in the candidate is a lot of potential, but the JOGA award picture for this clone is a superior flower. There is also a picture in OrchidWiz from Fred Clarke of this clone that does display mildly reflexed sepals and the petal gap though it is identified in OrchidWiz as C. Cornelia (1954).

So what do for this plant? The JOGA awarded flower has superior form and color, but the candidate is attractive in its own right and not yet recognized by the AOS. I am conflicted and have concluded that given the candidate plant does not meet the JOGO photo potential I would pass on this plant.

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Mark Werther (Accredited Judge, Mid-Atlantic Judging Center)

C. Cornelia 'Ginza White' BM/JOGA

Getting a good hybrid white from pumila deserves credit. Although the central flower is not quite as full as the Ginza Award, I like its form even with slight fenestration at the dorsal. Natural spreads of flower and size of petals are superior. The stance of the flowers is pleasant with better position on the lateral sepals. There is a bit of a rub from the third flower as it appears to still be opening. From percentage basis this means that 67% of the flowers are capable of being judged. Typical of judging timing; often a flowering is not quite ready and in this case holding the inflorescence for a week would have solved the problem.

We are supposed to judge based on what it is, not what it will be.

I then took a good look at the opening flower and saw no deformities. So two stances could be assumed:

1. One excellent superior flower, one good flower mid-range, and one non-judgeable flower. No award.

2. Orchids are subjective entities, not perfect and some lenience can be shown as long as there are no physical detracting deformities or damages and as long as the general quality is advancing. Low AM, some points detracted for all flowers not fully open.

As judges, our purpose is to recognize beauty and encourage exhibition - these are factors that can outweigh a single negative. My preferred choice is the award.

Mark Werther

Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Cattleya Cornelia ‘Ginza White’ BM/JOGA (C. labiata x C. pumila)


I grow this remade cross from Munekazu, but mine bloomed over the summer and resembled the candidate except for some extra tissue on one of the lips of the three blooms (tetraploid?).

First impressions are that it is a lot of plant for three flowers. I observed the same of my own plant. I am not sure of the intention of the hybridizer, but I do not see this cross competing with the elegance of a large classic Cattleya, yet it is not compact enough to be small to midsize either. I am left feeling like the flowers need to be an inch higher above the foliage for better presentation. I also grow C. Final Image from Suwada which includes more of the large flowering species in the parentage and I have high hopes for that one. I have seen this cross used as a parent for other Suwada crosses like Rlc. Tahitian Dancer that seem very promising.

I think pumila brings a great substance to labiata in this cross and I do like the rich, opaque diamond white color of this flower. The form has a few problems for me which leaves me without a wow factor. The dorsal, although upright seems too large for the flower, the petals are thrown forward and give a droopy appearance to the flower. The form of the lip is good.


The award I am looking for would be a flower award, and I would have to pass on this plant on this flowering.



Exhibitor - Cesar Uchima, TX (Student Judge, Dallas Judging Center)

Virtual Award Description

Three elegant crisp white flowers nicely presented on one inflorescence; sepals slightly reflexed apically, lightly fenestrated; petals full, cupped, irregularly ruffled; lip irregularly ruffled, marked bright yellow basally, contrasting nicely with rest of flower; substance good, texture matte; one flower not fully open precluded higher award.