Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cattleya skinneri Batem.

Frost-tender epiphytic orchid with cylindrical pseudobulbs, 1 or 2 oblong leaves, to 30cm long, and many rose-purple to bright purple flowers, to 10cm across, the lips often white or cream.  To 30cm.  [RHSE, Pridgeon, Hortus, Jennings].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘No colour that we can employ does justice to the brilliant rosy hue of this flower, justly named by Me. Bateman in compliment to its indefatigable discoverer, Mr. Skinner, who detected it exclusively in the warm parts of Guatemala and along the shores of the Pacific.  There it is called “Flor de San Sebastian”, and is eagerly sought for, when in season, by the people of the country, to ornament the temples and shrines of their favourite saints.  It is described by Mr. Skinner as “inhabiting the hot damp coasts,” and as “a plant that will require treatment accordingly.  It is always found on very high trees and is most difficult to get at, except after a storm that may have chanced to bring down some of the largest forest trees.”  Mr Bateman mentions the plant as producing flowers sometimes much larger than those here represented.  We only give them as they appear to us in June, 1843.’  [BM t.4270/1846.]

‘A beautiful orchid from Guatemala, it produces rosy-purple flowers in [spring], and they remain 3 weeks in perfection if kept dry.’  [Gard. Chron. 1851].  It was first received in Britain in 1836 from Mr. Skinner.  [MB p.193/1844].  BR misc. 83/1840.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [O.7/1850].  Cattleya crispa was requested from Loddiges’ Nursery on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.185] and obtained from them, brought out from England by Captain P. P. King in that year.  [ML A1980-3]. 


Published Jan 24, 2010 - 03:20 PM | Last updated Jan 24, 2010 - 03:27 PM

Figured are pseudobulbs, leaves and rose-purple flowers with yellow markings.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4270, 1846.

Cattleya skinneri Batem. | BM t.4270/1846 | BHL

Family Orchidaceae
Region of origin

Mexico to Guatemala

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Cattleya Skinneri 

Confidence level high