Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire

Week 98: September 7, 2023

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire

(Cattleya Maui Plum

Rhynholaeliocattleya Walden's Glen)


New candidate for this month is a Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire (Cattleya Maui Plum 'Volcano Queen' AM/AOS x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Walden's Glen 'Green Man's Grapes' AM/AOS). 

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire was originated and registered by Ben Oliveros in 2020. Cattleya Maui Plum is the cross between Cattleya guttata and Cattleya Summerland Girl. Second parent, Rhyncholaeliocattleya Walden's Glen is the cross between Cattleya bicolor and Rhyncholaeliocattleya Oconee. Although this cross has many Cattleya species in the background, three major species are C. bicolor, C. guttata and C. dowiana.

Previous Awards:

There is just one recent AOS award for this cross: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire 'Buffy' AM/AOS 86 pts, received by Waldor Orchids, Inc. in September 10, 2022.


The candidate has 8 flowers on one 31 cm unstacked inflorescence. Plant is 60 cm wide and 63 cm tall.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 13.5 cm;                   NS V - 14.7 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 2.5 cm;    Dorsal Sep. L - 9.0 cm;

Petal W - 5.8 cm;               Petals L - 8.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 2.5 cm;       Lat/Sepal L - 7.5 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 5.0 cm;     Lip/Pouch L - 7.3 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Eight beautifully colored flowers (reminiscent of a fine Burgundy) on one strong inflorescence. Crowding of flowers causes considerable, distracting and displeasing non-uniformity of flower parts likely not genetic and possibly mitigated on future bloom by heavy watering and, perhaps, increasing light exposure might allow a flower quality award. No award on this bloom.



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

This flowering is significantly larger and more vibrantly colorful than 'Buffy'. That being said, I fall back to what another judge (Ty Tripplett) once said to me as a student: imagine the flower is white. Forget about the color and focus on the form. (Thank you, Ty. I use this strategy more than you can imagine!)


Ok. Let's do that.

The petals on 'Buffy' are flat and smooth with no ruffling on the edges. The candidate petals, while SIGNIFICANTLY larger, are not nearly as flat or as pleasing to me.
The sepals, both lateral and dorsal, on 'Buffy' are visible and not recurved. The candidate sepals do not come close to this measure.
'Buffy' has a lip that is narrower and shorter than the candidate but that doesn't recurve quite as much. I consider the lip to be a wash. If you were to press me for a choice I think the candidate has a better lip, however, I prefer the contrasting white column on 'Buffy'.


Floriferousness is greater, but with a larger number of larger flowers comes the potential for a larger number of flaws. I think the presentation suffers from crowding compared with 'Buffy'. Another 5 or 10 centimeters on the inflorescence might have helped fix that. 


The color is arguably the best feature of the candidate. Definite points there.


Let's talk about size for a minute. As with most things in nature the larger a thing grows the more chances there are for flaws. Think crystals. Tiny crystals are often perfect or nearly so. Larger crystals, not so much. The more material you add the more the chance for something to go wrong.  Also, size is only worth 10 points in the overall score. Just because the flowers are more numerous and larger does not, again in MY opinion, mean that it is better.

I could see this flower being nominated, but not by me. If it was nominated I think I would come in at a high end HCC. Most of my points were for color and a few for size. I took points off for form and presentation.

Ed Weber
Mid-Atlantic Judge (ACC)



Nancy Dempsey (Student judge, Louisiana Judging Center)

Outstanding concolor red with satiny texture!! A definite improvement over last award, size is larger than previous award. but the arrangement is crowded. The amount of flowers is slightly better than previous award of 86. I would score an AM in lower 80s.


Alejandro Capriles (Retired AOS Judge, Accredited Judge Società Felsinea di Orchidofilia, Bologna, Italy)

The color captures your attention at first glance: deep and vibrant garnet red petals and sepals with a solid dark fuchsia isthmus lip. Compared to the awarded cultivar ‘Buffy’, this plant has considerably larger flowers and bears 3 more on one stem; however, the flower shape and particularly the arrangement on the stem, are less disciplined: on a vertical axis, some of the petals and sepals are presented slightly asymmetrically, and this is more pronounced on most of the lips - neither of these traits are present in the cultivar ’Buffy’.

Balancing the striking color along with the increase in flower size and number on the stem against the shape and presentation problems, I would award this cultivar an HCC of 78 points - in regard to the AM of 86 points awarded to the cultivar ‘Buffy’, in my opinion, it was an award heavily influenced by the color and therefore perhaps a little askew. I would probably not have given it more than 82 points on that particular flowering.


Cheryl Erins (Accredited Judge, Chicago Judging Center)

Very interesting name!!!  This flower in my estimation is a high AM score, perhaps 88. The flowers are bigger almost in every segment than the previous award. There are more flowers and they are held high. The color is spectacular. The form is almost as good as previous award, however, I found it a bit crowded and thus in my estimation not FCC candidate. Because it is crowded, the form of each individual flower is hard to see.  



Emily Quinn (Accredited Judge, Dallas Judging Center)

It’s larger but some of the flowers suffer from crowding. So, size and crowding (form) offset each other. Leaving a minor reduction for presentation. 84 or 83.



Andy Braun (Student judge, Atlanta Judging Center)

I love the color in these flowers.  The flower count is better than the previous award and with the parents of this cross, could be higher still.  The size of the flowers are also significantly better than the one awarded as well as greater than both of the parents. Very nice for both size and count to be greater instead of traded off. That said, there are some issues that would prevent me from nominating this plant for a quality award. The first is flower presentation, the flowers are crowded on the inflorescence and tend to overlap. The second is that the flowers are turned and very few are upright. Third, segment flatness is not as good as in the previous award. Lastly, I had trouble finding a flower that was as balanced as the previous award. Successive blooming could correct all of these issues and I would like to see this plant again.

Andy Braun

Student Judge, Atlanta Judging Center



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

Comments on the Rlc. Interview with a Vampire:


I found the color to be outstanding; however, the flowers are crowded on the inflorescence, which is common in this type of breeding, but it causes the arrangement/ presentation to be lacking. The 86 point previous award appeared to have a much better arrangement. These flowers have a spade lip, which is ok for this type of breeding, but I would like to see the lips flatter and not as reflexed at the apex. From the photo, the bi-lateral symmetry may be off (the dorsal sepals in some photos appear to tilt). The flowers are much larger than the previous award (NSH is 13.5 cm vs. 9.5 cm on prev. award). I would give it props for the beautiful color and the imaginative name. I think in a future showing, with these large flowers, overwhelming color, and more attention to the display and arrangement with all the flowers being resupinate, I would score this, but probably not this time.



Steve Gonzalez (Accredited Judge, Chicago Judging Center)


Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire

This hybrid has quite some DNA in it and most of it has come through.  Although a little crowded causing segments to be a bit more closed or reflexing, it excels in all around color.  There also seem to be some symmetry issues, particularly with the sepals, and it does seem to have a right petal & lip reflex and bow-legged lateral issue – this is somewhat hidden by the fact that the 8 flowers do make a bit crowded presentation.  I wise man (expert in Cattleyas) once told me “That’s the problem with bifoliates, especially tigrina’s, when they are young the flowers are less plentiful but present themselves well, when they get bigger, they have so many flowers and they crash into each other”.  Keeping all of that in mind I scored the flowers at an AM of 81 pts.  It does have great color and size giving the potential to get a more deserving upgraded award if the detractions are overcome.



Mary Cash (Student judge, Alamo Judging Center)

I really like the results of this hybrid that appears to have inherited great features from its parentage. Displaying tall, pseudo-bulb stalks growing erect that carry 2 stiff, leathery green leaves inherited from the C. bicolor, C. dowiana and C. guttata parentage. Blooming clusters of 7 or more large well formed long lasting fragrant blossoms influenced by C. bicolor flowers and C. dowiana backgrounds. Last but not least, its inherent characterized of the deep crimson and dark purple coloration inherented from c. dowiana’s  ability to influence the deep crimson and dark purples into the next generation.

Flowers well-presented with good cylindrical arrangements. Clustering with fully opened blooms. Varied directional openings. Coloration flows evenly. Elongated velveteen lip is a plus.

If this plant was on the judging table I would nominate it for a quality award. Scoring it at an AM of 81 points.


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

Lovely color and well bloomed but flowers are very crowded and badly cupped. Would not nominate it for an award.

Mary Mancini



Deb Boersma (Associate Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)


Rhyncholaeliocattleya  Interview with a Vampire  Deb Boersma Associate GLJC

This flower has beautiful saturated deep plum colour that nicely contrasts with the fuchsia of the lip sidelobes and the column. This candidate is more floriferous and the  flowers are substantially larger than the awarded cultivar. The disadvantage of more flowers of larger size is that the flowers are very crowded making the arrangement of the flowers is rather unappealing. The crowding of the flowers also restricts them from being able to fully open without being obstructed by the next flower. Definitely this plant is far superior in terms of floriferousness and size but I think the form of the flowers and presentation is lacking. Kudos to the grower flowering it with 8 large flowers!

I scored it at an HCC of 76, with the assumption that it has very good substance.


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

This is a nice hybrid and compared to the previous award is more floriferous and larger size with a pleasing color variation from the previous grex. It certainly merits judging.   

Likely to nominate.  Score Range 80-84.



Best Regards

Paul Wetter



Deb Bodei (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Interview With A Vampire


Always nice to see a lovely, full size bifoliate plant!


The form of this flower is very good considering the 'cowboyed' lower sepals from bicolor. The lip fills in the gap between those segments pretty well, giving it an overall full look in the individual flowers even though the petals are slightly cupped. The intense color and saturation is beautiful and really helps to show off the substance and texture even from a photo. It is the arrangement of the inflorescence, some inconsistencies between the flowers (probably due to the crowding) and the turning under of the lip midlobe, where points would be deducted.


I would feel compelled to nominate it because it is awardable, but I think it would score an HCC or just about reach an AM which is well below its capacity.  I think it will be capable of much more on the next flowering and I would look to see it on the judging table next year for a chance to elevate the award.


Thank you,



Dave Off (Waldor Orchids, www.waldor.com)

I like this one. The color, especially in natural sunlight, is exceptional. Shape is very good too. One thing I look for in this cross is the elongation of the lip. This one is proportioned well, others have a much longer isthmus lip. That is a personal preference.

The only draw back I have is the arrangement on the stem, but I would still score it at 84 points.

Dave Off


Comments from the hybridizer


Ben Oliveros (Accredited Judge, Hawaii Judging Center, Orchid Eros, www.orchideros.com)

I didn't want to weigh in since this is my creation. It's a good one though.
I named a while series of bicolor influenced hybrids after the Anne Rice novels. Just something playful because the lips make me think of blood suckers!

Exhibitor - Kim Feddersen, Fair Orchids, NJ

Virtual Award Description

Eight vibrant flowers on one 31-cm inflorescence displayed on a 60-cm wide by 63-cm high plant; sepals and petals deep burgundy, sepals ovate, petals lanceolate, petal margins ruffled; lip bilobed, reflexed apically, burgundy, side lobes overlaid deep fuchsia; column white, overlaid fuchsia, anther cap white; substance firm; texture shiny. 

Grower's Advice

For large bifoliate Cattleya, it is critical to repot only as the plant breaks new roots (1/2" to 3/4" long).  Ideally, uppot only, without disturbing the roots.

I prefer using clay pots (azalea type in 6" & 8" sizes, or bulb pan for 10" & 12" sizes), with a relatively coarse mix (1/2"-3/4"), using 4:2:1 ratio of bark, charcoal & perlite.

With this combination, I water 2-3 times weekly in the summer, and once a week from late Nov through February.  

We fertilize every 2 weeks (Peters 20:20:20, 300 ppm in summer and 200 ppm during the winter months).