Trevor Yee (Accredited Judge, AOC, Australia)
The wonderful peloric attributes of Mari's Song has expressed itself well here. The colour distribution on the petals and lip is quite pleasing. The central white dash of the petals does make the flower stand out as a striking feature.
Overall the shape is circular but not very filled in. The weakest elements are the sepals which are narrow, rolling inwards and reflexing at the ends - in particular the dorsal sepal. This is apparent on all 3 flowers.
The 3 blooms are not well arranged and bunched. Size of the individual flower is good.
On this flowering I don't feel it's of awardable quality.
Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)
Thank you for sharing. I love the coloring, especially on the column and lip. Unfortunately, the rolling, curling and asymmetry of the sepals and the form of the petals when compared to the awarded clones preclude me from considering this flowering for an award. Size is OK, slightly under flowered. Presentation is a little uneven and crowded.
Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)
Laeliocattleya Miss Wonderful (C. Mari's Song x L. anceps)
This cross normally has a special glow about it that is not easy to judge from a photo alone. That glow comes from the unique color combinations and this candidate’s flowers do have good color.
The candidate shows strong characteristics of its intermedia aquinii distant parent with the lip expressed in the petals. The petals are wide at the broadest point but significantly more pinched towards the apices than most of the prior awarded. It is not so much the pinching itself that is a problem as much as the overall asymmetry that it is creating. The lip form is lacking and also pinched with the apex turned under unevenly. Sepals are reflexed while petals are thrown forward with reflexed apices. Unfortunately, the best flower has a mark on its right petal and it is also being crowded out by the lower flower.
Laelias, with their long inflorescences are best displayed without staking or at most staked on the lower part of the inflorescence, only if absolutely needed. It is the natural stance of the flower on that long inflorescence that best shows off its overall grace and beauty when blooms are left unrestrained.
For the reasons above I would have to pass on this plant for an award on this flowering.
Thank you for including my commentary,
Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)
Three smaller than average flowers not well arranged on an apparently late staked erect inflorescence. Recurved petals might cause narrowing of natural spread horizontally and might be corrected on subsequent bloom via cultural changes, which also might correct form issues. Color is good. Could qualify for a lower level HCC but I would advise withdrawing plant from judging and await next bloom.
Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)
Laeliocattleya Miss Wonderful
A very charming flower with beautiful lavender colour on the petals, midrib white and darker lavender distally. I like the dark magenta colour on the bottom of the lip and the darker contrasting throat colour. The colour is soft and pleasing. The form is similar to many of the awarded plants, with narrow sepals, wider petals that tend to reflex at the ends. Our candidate also has some sepals that are reflexed. The lip is somewhat unsymmetrical. Many of these traits inherited from the L. anceps parent and that should be taken into account but there are a few awarded plants that have better form, such as the cultivars ‘SanBar Sensation’ and ‘Linwood’ with no reflexing of the petals or sepals.
Based on the last 10 awarded plants, it is in line with other awarded plants in terms of floriferousness, 3 flowers compared to an average of 3.3 flowers. The flower is somewhat smaller than the average natural spread of 12.8 x 13.8 cm, again based on the last 10 awarded plants. Our candidate has a natural spread of 11.8 x 11.5 cm and has a smaller lip width, 4.5 cm compared to the average of 5.1 cm.
Although I really appreciate the beauty of this flower, I don’t think that it is better than past awarded plants and I would not nominate it for a quality award.
Here are the comments from group of the students and judge of Societa Felsinea di Orchidofilia (Italy):
Stefano Bioni (Student Judge, SFO)
The number of flowers is in line with the parentage, the color of the petals and the lip is more intense than the average of the other awarded Lc. Miss Wonderful, however, the size and arrangement of the sepals is below average, they are asymmetrical and not very wide. There is also to consider the arrangement of the flowers on the stem which is disordered. If I were to give a score, mine would be around 75.
Ettore di Giovanni (Student Judge, SFO)
The number of flowers is adequate but I find that the stem could have been longer and the flowers arranged more gracefully. The color of the petals is very bright and in harmony with that of the sepals, and in particular the lip has a solid color without losing brightness. However, the size of the sepals is a little too small and the arrangement is not symmetrical. Good coplanarity of the elements. The column shows unpleasant asymmetrical streaks. If I were to give a score it would be around 73-74.
Filippo Pilloni (Student Judge, SFO)
I find that L. anceps has significantly improved C. Mari's Song: it has ensured that the flowers were better proportioned and better arranged, not too crowded, in order to enhance them individually. It has also given a decisive boost in color and a clear improvement in general shape: it has left the pleasant frisée effect in the margins but has spread all the petals and the lip better.
The flower of the Lc. Miss Wonderful in question is well open and quite flat, of excellent size (NS H - 11.8 cm; NS V - 11.5 cm). It loses a little in the shape of the sepals, especially the dorsal ones, retroflexed both at the extremities and along the edges, and twisted.
I find the plant an excellent mix of the two parents: practically a L. anceps with a shorter stem and flowers with a more imaginative color given by the other parent. However, I would have expected 4 flowers on a single stem or 3 flowers but on multiple flowering stems each. [I don't mean 4-5 flowers because I don't know how generous or stingy the L. anceps 'Ultimo' is in flowering].
As a score I would give approximately 72-73. Excellent color and general presentation, it loses points in shape, ‘wow’ effect and in being not very floriferous. Probably the following year it will do better.
Aldo Rozzo (Student Judge, SFO)
Lc. Miss Wonderful is a descendant of the notable C. Mari's Song, a highly appreciated peloric hybrid of the 90s and the redoubtable L. anceps. It is not surprising that the result of the crossing has generated a "low expression" peloric hybrid, in fact L. anceps is among the species in which pelorism is frequent and well-known. Furthermore, Lc. Miss Wonderful conceptually retraces the example of Cattleytonia Peggy San (C. Peggy Huffman x Broughtonia sanguinea) made by Stewart’s in 1983. Also in the case of Ctna. Peggy San is present the formula "peloric x long stem", brought in this case by Broughtonia. The combination of these unique characteristics generates absolutely fascinating hybrids. Personally, I really appreciate the crossings that lead to plants with very long stems, more flowers and maybe that bloom in sequence.
The Lc. Miss Wonderful proposed is a successful cultivar with an actinomorphic flower. The thinner, more linear sepals are soft pink, creating a graceful contrast to the wide, detailed magenta petals. To analyze this specimen, however, we must always keep in mind that it is a flower with an altered symmetry. The wide and intensely colored petals mimic the labellum, normally from a hybrid of L. anceps one would expect thinner petals, in this case the 'Ultima' clone was used, which, following research, appears to be one of the so-called " Mendenhall-type ”a group of L. anceps with particularly broad and flat segments (polyploid?). The labellum has mostly white mesochylus and purple marbled hypochylus on a white background, intensely colored that loosely embraces the column also marbled on a white background. The particularly developed epichile, in some places has folds that are perhaps too deep and asymmetrical. The flower is all in all flat and clearly shows the main characteristics of the two ancestors, another feature not taken for granted for such a complex hybrid. Symmetry is one of the most difficult and penalizing traits in peloric orchids. Unfortunately, there is no particular homogeneity in the shape of the petals of the three flowers. It is not surprising the intense color of the petals which is a direct consequence of the mutation. Score: 73/74.
Lia Amato (Student Judge, SFO)
In my opinion, some very beautiful color characteristics of Laelia anceps are lost in this cultivar, such as the bright lemon yellow present at the base of the lip around the column. A plus is the white present centrally along the petals and lip which improves the overall appeal. The general shape of the flower is lost in the proportions between the thin sepals and the petals that do not bind harmoniously to the sepals, losing the roundness and harmony typical of Cattleya intermedia. The shape of the labellum is quite attractive and even if the yellow color of the base has been lost, we can appreciate the woven purple design on the white background on the throat around the column. Overall I would score it 72-73 points.
Alejandro Capriles (Accredited Judge SFO, retired AOS Judge)
Striking color and pattern, notable flower size for the cross. Overall shape could be more symmetrical and harmonious. Petals well presented with little reflexing, although the sepals are lacking in symmetry, particularly the dorsals. Flower presentation and arrangement on the stem could be much improved, as evidenced in some of the previous awards for this grex. Flower count within expectations, but overall I find this specimen lacks some attributes I expect from a L. anceps hybrid and therefore I would have to pass - my score would likely be less than 75.