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Cattleya cernua, more commonly associated with the name the nodding Sophronitis, is a fairly small genus which has about 60 species native to Brazil and North-Eastern Argentina. Most of these species were originally described under Laelia, though it has long been recognised that the Brazlian Laelias were not closely related to the Mexican Laelias. 

Many species have different colour forms that have often been given varietal or cultivar names. They have been widely used to create hybrids alongside Cattleya in order to transmit their bright orange-red colour.

The plants are very small with pseudobulbs and leaves at 7.5-10cm.  The leaves typically present with a dark maroon stripe along the midrib.  Plants can break multiple leads from the newest bulbs, and can form fairly large clusters.  New roots tend to form just once a year, usually during autumn and most have a single bloom per inflorescence but some may develop 2 flowers. 

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