ON: During those journeys, have you found new species?
WZ: Yes but I didn't consider as so and then, they were found later by someone else.

ON: Which one, for example?

WZ: Encyclia fowlie, I found it with Euclides Colnagoi much more before Fowlie but it doesn't matter to me.

ON: This is not your vanity...
AW: There is Laelia munchoviana described by Miranda. Daniel Munchov is our employee, in Pedra Azul and we were climbing the hill, Daniel got the left and I got the right and the rest of the group of orchidists stayed behind, he found it 15 seconds before me and screamed.

ON: Do you thing that there still is a lot of thing to be discovered?
AW: If you look for, you will find. You should have time to walk, to dedicate, it is another way. There is a friend of us, Michel Frey, who is studying Pseudolaelia and has found many new species.
WZ: He found at about eight and has already described five.

ON: What is your opinion about those species? Do you agree they new species?
WZ: Yes, I think so, he is meticulous.
The species of Pseudolaelia he is finding, we have already knew them in the habitat.
We didn't consider as a new species, to us it was the old and known Pseudolaelia vellozicola, but, in fact, if we analyze, we will noticed

Pseudolaelia brejetibensis

they are new, some are really different. Near to Colatina, he found Pseudolaelia maquijiensis. There is Pseudolaelia freyi, from Pedra Feia also found near Venda Nova. There is the miniscule Pseudolaelia pavopolitana, he discovered it in the flanks of stone in Pavão village. I think they are different. He also described Pseudolaelia brejetibensis. He is doing a serious work.
Two months ago, we climbed Serra do Caraça, because he didn't know Pseudolaelia irwiniana. All the habitat was blooming. He found the yellow Pseudolaelia citrina at Venda Nova do Imigrante, on the rocks, only in this place.

ON: The state of Espírito Santo is rich in this genus.
WZ: We also have the famous Pseudolaelia canaanensis described by Ruschi as Renata canaanensis. It is the biggest, it is really big, in our place, in Pedra Azul, it spread and formed a thicket on the rocks, like in the habitat.

ON: You talked about Serra do Caraça, this is a very interesting region, isn't it?
AZ: This is a place protected by the park and very interesting. Besides the beauty, the region is very rich in rupicolous species, such as: Laelia fournieri, Laelia kettieana, Laelia flava, Laelia crispilabia, Laelia lucasiana (ostermeyeri) and Laelia macrobulbosa. In a same trip, we found five blooming species.

Caraça  Sanctuary

Laelia kettieana
Wladyslaw at Laelia kettieana habitat

Flagstone at Pedra Azul.
Photo:Sergio Araujo

ON: You should have precious observations about habitats and seems that you apply this knowledge in your ranch in Pedra Azul.
WZ: Many observations. In Pedra Azul, we had a rock where we planted more than 300 Vellozias. Once, it was easy to bring them, nowadays is not possible. We have Vellozia from Chapada Diamantina, from Serra do Cipó, from Ouro Preto. It is a big flagstone which we transformed in a habitat with many orchids. It is a very beautiful place, looks like the nature, if someone takes a picture and says that it is Serra do Sincorá, the biggest expert would not say if it is true or not. Laelia sincorana has already formed enormous thicket on the Vellozias and is reproducing by itself as well as Sophronitis brevipedunculata, Cattleya porphyroglossa which, in Nova Era, grows on the Vellozias. Here, in Viana, all things are still recent but in Pedra Azul is much more beautiful

ON: What could you add about Laelia sincorana habitat?
WZ: Laelia sincorana grows in the sertão (backwoods) of the state of Bahia, at about 1.000/1.200m altitude, blooming at the end of September and earl October. In the nature, in 90% of the cases, it grows on the Vellozias, just on the top of the mountains, where there is a concentration of humidity and clouds with a precipitation of humidity and ventilation very strong. The ventilation is really strong in this region. Laelia sincorana occurs on the . tepuis, tablelands of the mountains where grow the giant Vellozias with more than 2.000, 3.000 years, I suppose. It completely covers those plants, receiving strong ventilation, high luminosity and environmental humidity., mainly during the night. It is the only way to cultivate this species well and we should respect this when we cultivate our Laelia sincorana on captivity. We should point out that, in the same altitude (1.200m), here, in Espírito Santo, the climate is completely different. There, in the sertão of Bahia, it is much more hot, so much so if you bring a sincorana direct from there to Pedra Azul, at the beginning, it will resent a lot and should be cultivated in a acclimate greenhouse.

ON: This comparison about temperature in the different regions at the same altitude is interesting...
WZ: It is also valid for another regions, the temperature at 800m altitude in Colombia doesn't correspond to the temperature, here, in the same attitude. Everything depends on the place.
AZ: For example, the line of permanent snow is 4.000m, at the ecuador line level. In Patagonia is 700m, 800m. Besides, for sure, the sunstroke is completely different, high luminosity all year around, without variation from summer to winter.

ON: That information about habitats are very useful for who wants to have an appropriate cultivation. Often, the growers do exactly the contrary to the plant needs, different from what occurs in the nature, although, of course, it is impossible to copy the nature because there are several factors. Coming back to Laelia sincorana, in spite of talking about the difficult of the immediate adaptation in high altitude, Espírito Santo, you cultivate it at Pedra Azul?

WZ: Yes, we cultivate it in Pedra Azul, at 1.100m. The first ones brought from the nature, at the beginning, they suffered a lot and took time to be recovered, three or four years. However, those reproduced by seeds, grow well, without any problems

ON: Do you think that those reproducing from seed could be well adapted in Viana, at 300m?
WZ: Possibly yes but I think that Pedra Azul is better although it has a climate a little bit more rigorous concerning the temperature.

ON: And about Cattleya species habitats in Bahia such as Cattleya elongata and Cattleya tenuis?
WZ: Cattleya elongata and Cattleya tenuis come from a lower place, they never appear in the same region as Laelia sincorana. While sincorana grows on the Vellozias, on the top of the mountains, in Chapada Dimantina, elongata grows below, at about 800m altitude, on the rocks but we should point out that the stone is arenitic, not granitic, so it assimilates much more humidity.

ON: So this is the explication because since it is a bifoliate Cattleya, it should have troubles with retaining humidity. This kind of rock is not the same as we have in our region?
WZ: Ours is granitic, it doesn't work. The arenitic is porous and when it rains, it assimilates much humidity and releases it gradually to elongata roots. The elongata also mingles itself to small shrubs where it has a certain protection from the sun and the roots don't stay expose. It also has a certain protection by the lays of vegetal material which are accumulate on the rocks. The big concentration of the species stay along the rivers and the biggest one is in Mucugê, along the Sandália Bordada river. Those are true gardens, it is something spectacular to see during the blooming period.

ON: And Cattleya tenuis, it has the same conditions or it comes from a drier region?
WZ: It comes from a drier region, it is located in the center of the state. During the dry period, the creeks stay dried but during the rain period, it rains a lot. Cattleya tenuis grows at the confluence between the ground and the beginning of the tree. It is half shade protected because the region is so dried that the trees lose their leaves. It is more or less the same condition of Cattleya nobilior amaliae, in Tocantins, in "Azuis" region. There, during the blooming season, September/October, the trees stay completely leafless, so we can see those thickets of nobilior, growing in the crotch of the bared trees.

ON: During the winter, Cattleya nobilior is under a completely sunstroke ? Without rains?
WZ: Totally, a 100% and no rains at all so much so that Cattleya nobilior amaliae is very susceptible to the rain during the winter, it doesn't bloom well.

ON: And about Cattleya schofieldiana habitats?
WZ: I know many
habitats here in Espírito Santo and Bahia, until Porto Seguro, Arraial da Ajuda, everything is schofieldiana and they are most beautiful I have seen. Those from Espírito Santo have bigger flowers, the petals drop as they were donkey's ears. Those from Bahia, no, they are all well dispose however we also have some plants with more compact flowers, petals well formed in a small region at Domingos Martins. Those are the most beautiful schofieldianas in Espírito Santo. The blooming season are different but it is the same species.

C. schofieldiana 'Jubarte'

ON: Those conditions are the same as Cattleya schilleriana habitat?
WZ: Unlike schilleriana, it grows in the woods a little bit more shade, in general, where there are internal rocky formation because if the wood is completely closed, without enough luminosity, it doesn't appear. It grows on the trees in places with a high environmental humidity.

ON: And the cultivation?
WZ: In general, we can say that all those Cattleya bifoliate are plants which require a special care to be repotted because they don't have a store organ in their pseudobulbs. In the nature, all of them are connected, in a way or another, to some source of humidity but none of them likes to have the roots buried. Cattleya schilleriana, Cattleya schofieldiana, Cattleya harrisoniana, Cattleya guttata, Cattleya acklandiae need a small stub, high environmental humidity, strong ventilation and humidity because if it happens that a pseudobulb wrinkles, it will never be covered. It is not the same as with the monofoliate Cattleya, if Cattleya warneri wrinkles the pseudobulb by lack of water, when we provide water, it will swell and the plant will be recovered.

ON: And Cattleya velutina?
WZ: It is the same thing.

ON: Can it still be found in the habitats?
WZ: Not too many but we can find something. Nowadays, it is considered as almost extinct in the nature. It occurs in Espírito Santo, in Domingos Martins region, at 800m altitude, it means, higher than Viana, but lower than Pedra Azul.
AZ: It grows on high trees.
WZ: On high trees and on the very top of the trees, in the middle of the wood where they received strong luminosity, strong ventilation and humidity coming from the ground of the wood.

ON: But it is considered as a difficult plant even in the nature.
WZ: Look: in the nature, it is very endemic, it is not spread through the whole state, so it is adapted to a certain climate, in a certain region. If we take off and we don't reproduce that climate, it can not resist.

ON: You said it is endemic but there is an occurrence in the state of São Paulo.
WZ: In São Paulo, there is a variety, with white lip, called 'paulista' (which means comes from São Paulo).

ON: It will not be exactly the same which occurs in Espírito Santo?
WZ: It is not exactly as ours, I also found a velutina in Campo Redondo, in Chapada Diamantina, at the Serra do Sincorá.

ON: It is a new information!
WZ: It is news, I found there, is identical to our except for the blooming season.

ON: May be because of the different climate.
WZ : It happens, from here to Chapada Diamantina there are 1.200 km. There we found three small plants that I thought it was a Cattleya porphyroglossa, however when it blooms, it was a velutina.

ON: By the way, Cattleya porphyroglossa is an unfamiliar and rare cultivated species. It could be because of the flowers which never open entirely?
WZ: They do, the only thing is the narrow lip which has not the appearance of a velutina, schilleriana, acklandiae, amethystoglossa, but it is a beautiful plant.

ON: And about its habitats?
WZ: I visited one in Bahia, in Serra do Sincorá, at Chapada da Diamantina.

ON: Next to the river?
WZ: No. It was near the habitat of sincoranas, while they occur on the top of the mountain, Cattleya porphyroglossa grows bellow, in the plateau, at a tableland at 1.000m altitude. The biggest concentration is in Nova Era, Minas Gerais, next to Velhas rive where the mountains are granitic and there are many vellozias which were completely covered with porphyroglossa. Thus, people collected, collected and now, they only exist in inaccessible places.

Cattleya guttata
ON: And about Cattleya guttata and Cattleya leopoldii? Do you consider as two different species? Still nowadays it is very discussed.
WZ: People confuse those two species very much. We can discuss but it is a personal question. People considered that Laelia harpophylla and Laelia kaustky are two different species, however they are much more similar than guttata and leopoldii. Our Cattleya guttata goes through the entirely state of Espírito Santo and moves forward Rio de Janeiro. Some people say that it occurs until the state of Rio Grande do Sul mixed with leopoldii. I don't think so. In the south of Bahia, it is not guttata, it is leopoldii. In my opinion, they are two different species.

ON: So in the south of Bahia and Pernambuco, you think it is leopoldii?

WZ: Pernambuco I don't know but the south of Bahia, I know, it is leopoldii. The scent is different, the season of blooming is different al thought it doesn't mean anything.



Ours is guttata, it has a narrower lip. We have a wonderful habitat, in the sand, without any vegetal covering, with 15km longer and 1km width, scrubs and scrubs of Cattleya guttata, with 2 or 3 meter diameter. We are bring people from IBAMA (our office of protection and preservation of nature) in order to try to touch the major to see if he decides to consider as an area of natural preservation. It is unbelievable, you can walk all day long and see thousands and thousands of flowers, in the sand.

C. guttata habitats

ON: In the state of Rio de Janeiro, we also have Cattleya guttata in the sandbanks but people talk about trunks and trunks full of plants to be sold.

WZ: Here, people started to do this, the farmers don't want to see the place registered as an area of preservation because it is connected to beach. It is 500m far from the beaches and it is a land in boundaries of the farmers. They are using as pasturage in order to deprive od the characteristics of the place and avoid the register.

ON: From those trips, from the knowledge you got, from your observation, what did you apply here, in the nurseries?
WZ: I always say that it is not the orchid which becomes adapted to us. We should adapt ourselves to the orchids. It is there, for millenniums, in that condition. It has no reasoning, it has no good sense, it is up to us to approach. In this case, it will thrive well.

ON: It means, it is a question of good sense of respecting. Here you can see pseudobulbs of Cattleya schilleriana and, even Cattleya violacea, Cattleya eldorado, rarely seen.
WZ: Even in the Amazon, it is difficult to see such well developed pseudobulbs of Cattleya eldorado and violacea. That is the problem, the bifoliates grow, more or less, in the same way. Cattleya violacea is another plant that doesn't like to be buried, it should be plant in small dried stubs, well watered and requires fertilization. Greenhouse is not the nature, it is an artificial climate, we should provide what the plant has in the nature and doesn't find in the greenhouse. So it is fundamental to provide a correct fertilization.

ON: What do you consider a correct fertilization? What do you apply here?
WZ: We use a foliar feeding, it is not radical, organic. The organic fertilization should be decomposed to be absorbed by the plant, so there is no immediate absorption. This decomposition is made by the bacteria and fungi, not even all of them are beneficial for the orchids. It is also a kettle of proliferation which can cause troubles to the plants. On the other hand, this decomposition reaches also the substrate. The plant has a very strong initial push but, if in the course of the time, we take off the plant from the plastic pot, sometimes with insufficient drainage, with a too much compressed substrate and impregnated with organic fertilizers, we will see that the root is black, it is also decomposed, so something is wrong. As the growing is quite fast, the plant lives from the new roots which arise from the last sprouts In fact, what does the orchid assimilate? It is not the organic matter, it assimilates the fertilizer obtained by the decomposition of the organic material, the nitrogen, the phosphorus, potassium and all those micro-elements. So, in my opinion, if we give the orchids already chewed pap (it means the chemical fertilizer) with pure high quality salts, they will assimilate immediately. Another thing, orchids are even Ricinus’bran need to be decomposed to release nitrogen. In the fertilizers sold in Brazil, the nitrogen comes from the urea (40% of nitrogen) because it is one of the most cheap source of nitrogen we have. And the commercial fertilizers, even though called foliar, have, as a source of nitrogen, the urea and people don't inform it in the directions. Also the urea is not immediately assimilates by the plant , it should be decomposed, there are already researches about this.
ON: So it is a double task for the plants.
WZ: Yes. The urea should be decomposed to be assimilated by the plants. When we feed a plant with urea, the urea is not in condition of offering nitrogen because it is not still decomposed. Someone tells something funny: "when we fertilize with urea, it is not in conditions of being assimilates because it is not decomposed. If we water two days, the urea drops on the creek, then on the brook, after than to the river and finally on the ocean. Only there, it will be suitable to our orchids".

ON: But, in this case, it has gone many times ago. And about the foliar feeding we have on the market, do they also have urea as a source of nitrogen? How could we be sure about the source?
WZ: The most time yes, we should to research the origin, to see the directions on the bottle. If it is not there, ask the salesman or call the maker. Some people don't accept this point of view and think that urea is good. As a fertilizer to the ground, urea is excellent but it is not the case of our orchid which is, sometimes, just mounted in a small stub and should assimilate immediately. In our case, we just use nitrogen fertilizer - nitric and ammoniac composes - and never the urea. The assimilation is immediate.

ON: Yes, when we see the vegetative conditions of your pants, we have the impression that you are in the right way.
WZ: You can see by the conditions of our plants... The plant arrives here and the pseudobulb double or tripled.

ON: Wladyslaw, the state of Espírito Santo as one of the most rich state in Brazil, if not the most rich, concerning the occurrence of the species, has also a quite rich history of orchidophilia. You, along all those years you had an influence in this history. Which is your influence in this history. Which is your role in this and the foundation of the local society (Sociedade Espírito-santense de Orquidofilia - SEO)?
WZ: We can consider that SEO started in my home in Barro Vermelho, in Vitória, when a small group of friends met here drinking wine and nibbling at cheeses and discussing the formation of the society and the development of the orchidophilia in Espírito Santo. The society has been found in l992 and Euclidio Colnago was the first president. Our meeting are free and SEO doesn't ask for allowance. I have been President and always have the function of technical director. Alek is our editor and does the monthly technical newsletter for all associates.

ON: And the regional branches? How many exist nowadays?
WZ: There are eight branches until now:

ON: Thank you

Photos: AWZ Orchids, except when pointed out

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