Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight

Week 100: October 30, 2023

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight

(Cattleya Katherine Clarson

Rhynholaeliocattleya Sun Spots)


New candidate for this month is a Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight (Cattleya Katherine Clarkson 'SVO' HCC/AOS x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Sun Spots 'Sandy' AM/AOS). 

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight was originated and registered by Fred Clarke in 2017. Although this cross has many Cattleya species in the background, major species are C. aclandiae, C. guttata, C. bicolor and C. esalqueana.

Previous Awards:

There are two AOS award for this cross (both are recent): Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight 'Big Bear's Spotted Wonder' AM/AOS 87 pts from May 25, 2022 and Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight 'Crystelle' AM/AOS 85 pts from May 2023.


The candidate has 4 flowers on one 16 cm unstacked inflorescence. Plant is 41 cm wide and 23 cm tall, has 8 growths and growing in 10 cm black plastic pot. These flowers doesn't have spots which are we normally see at the Rhyncholaeliocattleya Naomi's Delight.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 8.1 cm;                   NS V - 7.5 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 2.0 cm;    Dorsal Sep. L - 5.5 cm;

Petal W - 3.3 cm;               Petals L - 4.6 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 2.3 cm;       Lat/Sepal L - 4.6 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.1 cm;     Lip/Pouch L - 4.2 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Four smallish, (?first bloom) well-colored, slightly fenestrated, unblemished, nicely presented flowers on a relatively small plant; narrow petal width problematic for award but color homogeneity of all flower parts, even lacking typical ancestral spotting, might allow for a lower flower award, perhaps an HCC.

It should be displayed at judging after several bloom cycles, allowing growth and flower enlargement with increased flower count which might yield an award of merit.

Alan Koch (Accredited Judge, California-Sierra Nevada Judging Center)

Although we expect spots out of this cross the flowers are a very interesting color.  Four flowers on a young plant is also very good.  It is my opinion that the two previous awards were overscored.  The openness of the flower precludes judging this flower.  It is a very nice flower, but type and breeding precludes scoring this plant.


Christian Carrillo (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

While this plant has interesting, if not beautiful, orange-bronze color on the segments and petals, and a very pleasant overlay of rose red on the petals, I am disappointed by the overall form of the flower.  The petals are too narrow with significant windowing; they also look reflexed along the midlobe. However, the best feature of this plant is its lip: it is wonderfully colored -- rich and bold.  The picotee at the tip of the lip frames it very nicely too.  The side lobes and column are also wonderful features of this plant; it's a wonderful overlay of magenta purple.  The lack of spots makes this plant characteristic and unique, and while there are a lot of nice features of this flower, I still cannot forgive its lack of fullness and its significant reflexing against the midlobe in the petals, especially in regards to the two previous awards.  For me, this precludes a nomination. 

 Paul Wetter (Senior Judge, West Palm Beach Judging Center)

This is a lovely cross and the previous two awards displayed the pleasant spots of the parents, most likely from aclandiae and guttata in background.  

Although there are no spots here, there is a very striking and bold color and contrast between Sepal/Petals and lip. Form is fair and size is good as well, although there could be some improvement of Sepal and Petal width which costs some points for form.  I would nominate this clone for judging and expect a score in the range of 78 HCC - 80AM.

Best Regards

Paul Wetter

Cheryl Erins (Accredited Judge, Chicago Judging Center)

I am not overly impressed with these flowers.  The enlarged picture showed a wonky dorsal, but the video does not seem to.  I am concerned with the windows between the sepals and petals.  And to me it is not that flat, which by now we should see.  I do not see this better than previous awards, and could possibly award it as a 78 HCC.  Color is very nice as is texture very sparkling.  Lip well formed and color is nice.  Has 4 flowers so ok in that area. 

Cheryl Erins

Ramon de los Santos (Accredited Judge, California-Sierra Nevada Judging Center)

Even though this breeding was meant to be spotted, the clear smooth tan color is ok. The lip is very nice and kind of flat not recurved at side and good color. It looks like it has heavy substance. What distracting is it very wide fenestration and both of its parents have good segments. This is not an improvement over the breeding. I'll pass or screened it.

Joe Bryson (Accredited Judge, Florida North-Central Judging Center)

This Rlc. Naomi's Delight is somewhat different from previous awards, but pleasing in its own way. I personally like the coppertone color without spots. All three have spade type lips which is expected with this breeding; but the lip is relatively flat on this plant. The 'Crystelle' cultivar is not as fenestrated as the other two cultivars. This plant does show windowing between the dorsal and petals and is slightly cupped, but I think the form is generally good; there is some slight rolling on the margins around the vertical axis of the dorsal. The undulation of the petals I found to be mostly symmetrical and pleasing. I think this plant compares favorably with the 'Big Bear's Spotted Wonder' cultivar. I like this form better; the petals are not as twisted and the lip form is much better. Overall, I would score this plant in a low to middle AM range.

Emily Quinn (Accredited Judge, Dallas Judging Center)

The form for the flower is more open, but the margins are cleaner, the lip flatter than the earlier award. The color is excellent. I like that reddish blush on the bronze of the segments. The white picotee is uniform enough not to distract from the rich magenta of the lip. The flowers are smaller, but the flower count is right in range. The arrangement is good. My score would be somewhere in the range of 79/80pts.

Mary Cash (Student Judge, Alamo Judging Center)

The candidate’s measurements fall just below the averages of its two AOS awarded crosses. The candidate’s lack of spots is strongly influenced by its C. bicolor and C. esalqueana background. The intense solid coloration and saturation are beautiful and really help to show off the substance and texture. Coloration flows evenly. 

The cupping of the candidate is reflected in the majority of its background Cattleya species. A plus ought to be noted for the fullness of the sepals and petals. The candidate’s parentage of both C. aclandiae and C. guttata increases the fenestration between the dorsal sepal and the petals. The two AOS awarded crosses show an increase in the width measurement of the lip. The length measurement of the lip is slightly longer on our candidate. Elongated velveteen lip is a plus.

The candidate is well grown with four flowers on one inflorescence. I am looking forward to experiencing an increase flower count in the coming years.

If this plant was on the judging table, I would nominate a high HCC quality award to our candidate. 

Thank you,

Mary Cash

Ed Weber (Accredited Judge, Mid-Atlantic Judging Center)

Where did the spots go?!  Although spotted or speckled flowers are interesting I find the rich solid butterscotch color very pleasing especially contrasted with the fuchsia lip and I really like the markings on the column. I believe I would rather have this clone than any of the previously awarded clones. It compares favorably with the award record in all dimensions. I would be inclined to nominate this clone and expect I'd be in the low to mid AM range. Thank you for sharing this beautiful flower!

Ed Weber

Ginna Plude (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

This is an interesting one.  The flowers photograph much differently, color-wise, vs outdoors or under what I assume is artificial lighting.   I think the outdoor, and black background images are the best.  

I think I may question the accuracy of the tag on this plant for a couple reasons.  As you pointed out there are no spots which seems very odd.  It also looks like the texture is more classically 'Cattleya' with a slight sparkle vs. the parents, both of which are more waxy looking.  The petal shape seems a bit different as well.

There is significant fenistration between the dorsal sepals and petals.  There is also a lot of rolling along the margins of the dorsal sepal, which I don't see in either parent.  The ruffling on the petals seems fairly consistent, but the form again, seems off from the parents.

I don't see this flower an improvement on the parents, if indeed the tag is correct, which for me is doubtful.

It is well grown though and the grower has done a nice job.


Mary C. Mancini (Accredited Judge, Louisiana Judging Center)


I would score this one.  Lovely color.  The cupping is to be expected with its parentage.  I would give it a score of 76-78.

Mary Mancini

Deb Doersma (Associate Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Wow, what happen to the spots in this cultivar? With so many spotted hybrids and species in the background you would think there would be spots on the segments as with the three other awarded cultivars, but I guess such is hybridizing.

This is a nice, well grown plant but I don’t see it as an improvement on the beautifully spotted parents. I find the color somewhat drab without any spots for contrast, the lip has nice vibrant color.  The form of the awarded ‘Crystelle’ cultivar is much fuller and more floriferous than this candidate although the form of the other two awarded plants compare to this plant. Size is a little smaller than geometric mean of the parents and smaller than ‘Big Bear’s Spotted Wonder’ and ‘Crystelle’ cultivars.

I would have to pass on nominating this plant for a quality award.

Elena Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

When I saw the picture of this plant the first question that came to my mind is - where are the spots????

This cross is supposed to have spots!

However, even without spotting I find these flowers are very attractive. An elegant flat flower, very nice contrast between lip and petals, lovely white picotee on magenta lip. The flower is well proportioned and relatively flat. The flower size is good, the number of flowers is good, 4 on one inflorescence, the arrangement is good. I would nominate this plant for a flower quality award and score in low AM range 80-81 points.

Kudos to the grower! This is definitely a keeper!

Best regards,


Pam Noll (Student Judge, Alamo Judging Center)

The plant is pleasing to look at. The bright, clear, colorful flowers are well-held on the single inflorescence and the lack of spots on the golden yellow tepals is a pleasing visual contrast with the broad purple lip. The form of these flowers is a bit starry, creating more windows than appear on the other two awarded clones. The substance appears firm, texture is an attractive diamond dust. Its NSH and NSV measurements are not outstanding in comparison with other related awarded plants. This plant is not as floriferous as the other awarded clones, though I would expect it to develop in future years. I would not nominate this plant for scoring at this time.

Pamela Noll
Student, Alamo JC

Jan Takamiya (Associate Judge, Hawaii Judging Center)

Rlc. Naomi’s Delight

Wow.  The warm gold color is stunning in the outdoor photo.  Although other awarded cultivars are heavily spotted, I don’t miss the spots on this one. The form and color differentiation for this hybrid is delightful.  The dorsal sepal appears elongated and the recurving emphasizes the lack of the desired overlapped segments, present in the other awarded cultivars.  Overall the presentation is symmetrical and somewhat flat. The flower count, size and arrangement in my opinion are good for this candidate. I scored a low AM.

Deb Bodei (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Rlc. Naomi's Delight (Cattleya Katherine Clarkson x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Sun Spots)

The interesting coloring and lack of spots is quite intriguing and is the first thing noticed on this flower. I like the lack of spots that must be coming from the bicolor in the parentage. The flower gets high marks for color, especially for the iridescent lavender overlay on the butterscotch petals. The contrast of the magenta lip is lovely, right down to that bright white picotee on the midlobe and white of the side lobes. The attractive magenta markings and symmetrical brushing on the column is also adding to the overall appearance. It has a nice shimmery overall texture in the natural light. Even with what looks to be a blasted fifth flower, it is still floriferous with four compared to others of this grex awarded as well as the parents. Overall and segment sizes are comparable with prior awards. The arrangement is just crowded enough to limit the angles for an award photo of more than one flower with sepals pressing on others adjacent.

The overall form is nice with great symmetry. The flower loses some points in the overall impression because of the fenestration between the dorsal sepal and petals, the petals thrusting a little forward and curling on the dorsal margins. The petals on one or two of the flowers seem to be held almost on top of the lateral sepals and on one, the petals even hang just a bit lower than the sepal top margin. The lower stance is taking away from the even ruffling of the petal margins and adding to the fenestration. The petal stance and curling on the dorsal margin is contributing to the look of fenestration.

I think the flower makes enough of a statement for its good attributes that I would nominate it. We judge what's in front of us, so I will put aside the thought that it can get an even better score on the next flowering with less fenestration and less curling on the dorsal margins. I think it could even reach an AM the way it is presenting on this bloom, but more likely will just miss it.


Steve Gonzalez (Accredited Judge, Chicago Judging Center)

Rlc. Naomi's Delight (Cattleya Katherine Clarson x Rlc. Sun Spots)

Interesting to see that this flower came out with caramel color and no patterns or spotting on the sepals and petals whatsoever (compared to what is expected, 3 previous awards). Still a very nice flower with the colors it presents, although they are not as vivid. Flower count is normal, but the size is good and the except for the dorsal sepal being a bit narrow, the other segments are large and not too cupped.  Too bad that the petals have a bit of windowing around the dorsal sepal – if they would have pointed a bit upward, would have filled the space in a bit more pleasant matter. Seems like most of the other awarded plants also do not have flatter lips, but, this one sure has a broader lip and broader lateral sepals. I see that there is maybe some mechanical damage on the right lateral sepal for the focus flower photo it is barely visible and probably was caused by touching the petal next to it when opening or transport. I do think that the suffusion and veining over the caramel base color is pleasant. One of the flowers has a deeper cut into on the top of the petal, so they are not fully consistent in their shape, maybe some of this could be improved in a next flowering. Scored it to HCC of 79 points. 



Comments from the hybridizer


Fred Clarke (Accredited Judge, Pacific South Judging Center, Sunset Valley Orchids, www.sunsetvalleyorchids.com)

We saw a number of people report this lack of spots on these, I think one even might’ve been awarded….. it’s unusual. 

Exhibitor - Bill Stender, PA

Virtual Award Description

Four well presented flowers on one 16-cm inflorescence; dorsal sepal oblong, erect, margins reflexed, lateral sepals obtuse, decumbent, golden bronze, gold on lower half of lateral sepals; petals porrect, undulated on distal half, golden bronze, gold along margins; isthmus lip light pink suffused with dark pink, mid lobe bright magenta with thin pink picotee, sidelobes light pink; column broad, light pink overlaid with darker pink vertical bands; anther cap pale gold; substance firm, texture sparkling; commended for unusual absence of spotting.

Grower's Advice

Thank you all for your comments. It is indeed a special plant and I look forward to continuing to grow this one up. It is very special in person. I am also honored to be the 100th Virtual judging with the most comments ever.

I grow this with the rest of my cattleyas in my greenhouse in Northeast PA. with bright diffused light in the spring and summer months and no shade cloth from November to April. I water with rainwater and use MSU RO fertilizer and kelpmax as a supplement. The plant is presently in a 4” plastic pot but is at the edge and will be moved into terra cotta when it breaks a new lead. It will probably take a few years to recover, but I hope to bring it to in person judging someday.