Cambria-like

The Cambria-like is a hybrid of various plant species and therefore does not occur in the wild. Cambria-like is a collective name for a group of hybrid orchids, the ‘parent’ plants of which come from all over the world. The Belgian Charles Vuylsteke produced the first Cambria-like, the Cambria Vuylstekeara ‘Plush’, in around 1900. The Cambria was produced from Odontoglossum, Cochlioda, Miltonia, Oncidium and Brassia.

The Cambria-like family is very large. The Cambria-like orchids encompass the following orchid species: Beallara, Burrageara, Colmanara, Miltonidium, Odontonidium, Odontoglossum, Vuylstekeara, Brassia, Burrageara Nelly Isler & Wilsonara.

Cambria-likes are not grown on a large scale and are mainly available from specialist wholesalers. The flowers vary tremendously in size and shape: from one and a half centimetres to over ten centimetres and from star-shaped to almost round. The flowers are beautifully marked. Brown, red and purple are the colours that predominate, but there are also pink, orange and brown Cambria-likes and even a small number of white and yellow Cambria-likes with maroon markings.

Care

Place the Cambria-like in a light spot, but not in direct sun. The plant does best at temperatures between 16 and 21 ˚C. The average flowering time is six weeks.

During the summer period immerse the plant once every five to seven days, and once every seven to ten days during the winter period. Do this by placing the plant in a bowl of water at room temperature for five to ten minutes. Allow the plant to drain well before replacing it. Water more frequently when the tuber dries out. Add orchid food to the water once a month in the summer. Give half a portion of food once every two months in winter.

When the plant has finished flowering, cut off the old branch in its entirety and then treat the plant the same as during the flowering period.

The Cambria-like may flower again after about nine months. The plant develops one or more new shoots. When a new shoot has finished growing, a hard green disc appears - a sort of pseudo-tuber. In order to form new buds, the plant needs a rest period from the time when the pseudo-tuber is completely hard and full. You should then water it less for eight weeks: once a fortnight is enough. During this period you should place the plant in a spot where the temperature is 16 to 17 ˚C, but not in the dark. Give more water when the new flower stem is visible. The plant can then be returned to its old spot.

Cambria-likes can be placed outdoors in the spring and summer, but not in full sun. The temperature may not be below 9 ˚C or above 28˚C. When the plant has filled the pot completely, you can repot the plant. Only use orchid soil with a substantial amount of bark for this. Give the plant extra artificial fertiliser for the first two months after repotting.