** Sobralia Hybrids **

Edited 26 April 2010
© Nina Rach


There are 29 Sobralia hybrid names registered with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), representing 27 unique crosses, as well as several pending. Click here to access the RHS registration database online.

The first hybrid, Sobralia Wiganiae, was on record in literature in 1856 and registered with the RHS in 1898. The RHS database indicates that the parents were macrantha and xantholeuca, but no date or name of registrant is currently listed in the online database. This primary hybrid has more commonly been known as S. Veitchii, but Veitch's registration was in 1894, so the name Wiganiae has 48 years priority. S. x wiganiae is also registered as a natural hybrid.

The next few hybrids were registered forty years later, in 1894 (Veitchii, synonomous with Wiganiae), 1895 (Amesiae/Amesiana), and 1897 (Roseo-macrantha; Sedenii). An additional 12 were registered between 1903 and 1923; apparently the early 20th century was the heyday of Sobralia popularity and hybridizing.

In the intervening 90 years, only eight additional Sobralia hybrids have been registered-- Sobralias Lydia, Nina Rach, Puanani, and Raymond (USA 2008); Sobralia Modesty (USA 2007); Sobralia Songbird (New Zealand 2004), Sobralia Amanecer (USA 2000), and Sobralia Yellow Kiss (USA 1999). The time has come for a renewed effort in this area! Just five more registrations before 2019, and we will have beaten the record for the 1903-23 era.

For a detailed description of the process of making and raising one particular sobralia hybrid, read the marvelous article written for the Sobralia Pages by New Zealand hybridizer Peter C. Elfleet: "Life History of Sobralia Songbird," (Thanks, Peter!!): Sobralia Songbird. This hybrid was awarded in New Zealand in January 2007, the first sobralia hybrid to be recognized by an established judging body.


The Registered Hybrids:
Hybrid name = (seed parent x pollen parent) (Originator; registration date)

S. x wiganiae = macrantha x xantholeuca (Natural hybrid)

S. Amanecer = atropubescens x sessilis (Hoosier Orchids, 28 July 2000)
S. Amesiae = wilsoniana x xantholeuca (Sanders, St. Albans, 1895)
S. Amesiana = wilsoniana x xantholeuca (S., 1895)
S. Baron Ohara = Amesiae x macrantha (Tokyo Botanic Gardens, 1923)

Sobralia Lydia (xantholeuca x fimbriata)

Sob. Lydia photo by hybridizer Bruce Rogers
S. Colmaniae = Veitchii x xantholeuca (Colman, 1907)
S. Dellensis = leucoxantha x lowii (Schroder, 1907)
S. Edina = holfordii x xantholeuca (Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, 1926)
S. Gatton Lily = holfordii x lucasiana (Colman, 1915)

S. Inverleith = lowii x xantholeuca (Edinburgh Botanic Garden, 1926)
S. Jeanette = charlesworthii x Veitchii (Charlesworth Ltd., 1926)
S. La Folie = leucoxantha x xantholeuca (E.Young O.F., 1 July 2009)
S. Luminosa = holfordii x wilsoniana (Sanders, St. Albans, 1903)
S. Lydia = xantholeuca x fimbriata (Bruce Rogers, Calif., 15 May 2008)
S. Lyoth = charlesworthii x macrantha (Charlesworth Ltd., 1919)

Sobralia Raymond (violacea x powellii)

Sob. Raymond photo by hybridizer Bruce Rogers
S. Mirabilis = macrantha x Veitchii (Sanders, St. Albans, 1903)
S. Modesty = biflora x decora (Ted Green, Hawaii, 4 January 2007)
S. Nina Rach = Veitchii x Mirabilis (Bruce Rogers, Calif., 2 Sept 2008)
S. Puanani = macrantha x violacea (Ted Green, 14 April 2008)
S. Raymond = violacea x powellii (Bruce Rogers, Calif., 15 May 2008)
S. Roseo-macrantha = macrantha x rosea (Veitch, 1897)

S. Schoenbrunnensis = macrantha x xantholeuca (Schoenbrunn Gdns., 1913)
S. Sedenii = macrantha x rosea (Veitch, 1897)
S. Shinjik = Dellensis x macrantha (Tokyo Botanic Gardens, 1923)
S. Siebertiana = hodgkinsonii x macrantha (Sanders, St. Albans, 1908)

Sobralia Songbird (macrantha x Mirabilis)

Sob. Songbird 'First Note' photo by NZOC judge Chris Hubbert
S. Songbird = macrantha x Mirabilis (P.C. Elfleet, 8 March 2004)
S. Veitchii = macrantha x xantholeuca (Veitch, 1894) - name invalid?; see S. Wiganiae.
S. Wiganiae = macrantha x xantholeuca (1898)
S. Yellow Kiss = xantholeuca x Mirabilis (Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, 29 June 1999)

Unregistered Hybrids:
Sobralia x ecuadoriana (gentryi x powelii) -- Offered in Tropical Orchid Farm's 2005 catalog (TOF1851). Described as a natural hybrid from Ecuador, with photo. "Very large (5") white flowers with pink on lip and yellow in throat bloom successively from tall canes. Very satisfying plant - blooms over and over throughout a season." [ tiny photo from TOF.] Another possible photo of Sobralia ecuadoriana, from a show in Chicago, 2002.
See: Sobralia ecuadorana Dodson.

Sobralia (powellii 'Paki' CHM/AOS x Mirabilis) -- Near-blooming sized seedlings of this hybrid have been offered for sale on eBay since the first half of 2005, by "Orchidnuts" in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The flowers are described as concolor yellow, "with big flat lip and nice orange throat." They began to bloom after 6 years in flask. The Sob. Mirabilis (macrantha x Veitchii) parent was said to be cream-colored. More info on Sob. powellii.

Sobralia (decora x leucantha) -- Plant blooming in the University of Connecticut Conservatory. Source unknown, three plants in collection.

Intergeneric Hybrids:
None registered yet, but it may be possible to cross Sobralia with Elleanthus.


Purchasing Sobralia hybrids

Seedlings of S. Veitchii and others were available from Hoosier Orchid Co., www.hoosierorchid.com, Indiana, but the company was closed and the plants auctioned off in October 2008. Goodbye, Hoosier, and thank you for your contributions to sobralia hybridizing and cultivation.

Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, www.sborchid.com, California, has S. Mirabilis and various species for sale.

Oz Gardens, www.ozgardens.com, is a wholesale nursery in California specializing in Sobralias, offering Sobralias in all growth stages: seed, flasks, seedlings, mature plants. Approximately 25 crosses, species and named varieties (photos above). Nurseries in California. Owned by Bruce Rogers (email: bruce@ozgardens.com) and Terry Root. Alternate email: ozgardens@pacbell.net, or tel: 415.235.4819

** Please let me know of any other sources **


This website was born in August 2000.
Nina Rach

Comments? Questions? Send e-mail: sobralia@autrevie.com

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