Miniature orchids are cute. Miniature cattleyas are even more so.
Not only do they stay tiny to 2 to 8 inches (3-20 cm) tall in their mature size, their flowers are often large and showy with vibrant colors. Some even have a unique, sweet fragrance.
Save this article to find your favorite miniature cattleya to add to your collection.
1. Cattleya alaorii
With creamy pink, white, or lavender petals, this lovely cattleya species comes from Brazil – specifically, from the low mountain regions of the Amazon Rainforest.
Cattleya alaorii is small and compact, even smaller in comparison to other miniature species on our list. It has a mature adult height of around 4 in. (10 cm), with minute blossoms spanning 1.7 in. (4.4 cm) across.
Like some other entries on our list, this species has a single long, leathery leaf attached to each pseudobulb and broad petals that overlap each other.
Cattleya alaorii naturally starts flowering in the autumn and generally blooms throughout the winter months.
2. Cattleya brevipedunculata
Known for its vibrant crimson flowers that resemble butterflies, Cattleya brevipedunculata (formerly identified as a Sophronitis) is native to Brazil. It thrives in cool, mountainous climates with rocky ground among cacti – usually at elevations between 1200 and 2200 meters (4000 to 7000 feet) above sea level.
The flowers of Cattleya brevipedunculata are between 1.5 – 3 in. (4 – 7.5 cm) across. The mature height for this orchid species is about 4 – 6 in. (10 – 15 cm) tall.
What this orchid lacks in fragrance, it makes up for in color. Its bright petals range from bright pink to crimson with darker colored veins usually visible upon taking a closer look.
The blooms are solitary, each flower spike fostering between 1 to 3 blooms at a time.
3. Cattleya cernua
This bright orange cattleya species with small, pointed petals is native to Brazil and Paraguay at elevations about 100 meters (330 feet) above sea level. They can be found both inland and near mangrove trees at the coast.
Cattleya cernua is a compact Cattleya with the adult plant size being about 4 in. (10 cm) tall only.
The flowers have an attractive orange color and measure 1 – 1.25 in. (2.2 – 2.7 cm) across. They often blossom in dense clusters, with each flower spike holding 4 to 10 blooms at one time.
Like other miniature cattleyas, each pseudobulb produces a single long, leathery leaf that can be either thin or broad in shape.
4. Cattleya dolosa
Cattleya dolosa has a mature height of about 6 in. (15 cm) tall,
This beautiful orchid has huge showy blooms, measuring about 5 in. (12.7 cm) across. The petals are rounded and white, pink, or purple in color. The blooms are very fragrant and solitary, with only 1 – 3 blooms on an inflorescence at a time.
Each pseudobulb produces two narrow leaves with a thick, almost leathery texture.
Like other miniature Cattleyas on the list, it hails from Brazil and naturally grows along rocky outcroppings near the coast.
5. Cattleya eldorado
Cattleya eldorado is one of the smallest miniature cattleya species, known for its long, thin, pastel petals and elongated lips with a yellow throat.
Despite its miniature plant size, its characteristic pastel flowers are huge, measuring 5 in. (12.7 cm) across.
It has a single thick, leathery leaf attached to each pseudobulb. The leaves are 4 – 6 in. (10 – 15 cm) long, with pseudobulbs 3 – 5 in. (7.5 – 12.7 cm) tall.
It originates in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil and because of this, it is adapted to thriving in a hot, humid climate with higher temperatures than most other cattleya species would be comfortable with.
Cattleya eldorado is dormant during the winter. In the US, it begins to bud in the late winter to early spring, flowering throughout the summer and into early autumn.
6. Cattleya fidelensis
With its pouting pinkish lavender blooms and ruffled lips, Cattleya fidelensis is a prized orchid species for hanging baskets. Its leaves and blooms cascade over the sides of baskets and pots, making it ideal for hanging high up.
Like other miniature Cattleyas, it has a mature adult height of about 6 in (15 cm).
Cattleya fidelensis has flowers that measure 3.5 in. (8.9 cm) across and have a sweet fragrance that makes it popular among hobbyists and professionals alike.
It is native to southern Brazil.
7. Cattleya jongheana
Similar in appearance to cattleya alaorii, this orchid species has pastel-colored blooms with long, narrow petals and ruffled white to yellow lips.
The flowers are large, measuring 4 – 6 in. (10 – 15 cm) across while the mature adult height is only 5 inches (13 cm) tall.
The blooms are solitary, the inflorescence having only 1 – 2 flowers at one time.
Each pseudobulb produces one oblong leaf in a dull green color.
Cattleya jongheana has a relatively short growing season, blooming only from late winter to early spring.
8. Cattleya liliputana
Cattleya liliputana is the tiniest of all miniature cattleyas, with a mature height of only between 1.5 – 3 in (4 – 7.5 cm).
It also has tiny blooms that measure only 0.8 – 1.25 in. (2 – 3 cm) across. The flower blooms much higher up than the leaves of the plant in a single pink, solitary bloom.
This species is relatively new, having been discovered in 2008 growing in the mountainous region of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
It grows in rocky outcroppings and in crevasses between boulders and along cliffs.
9. Cattleya luteola
Cattleya luteola is an attractive orchid with bright yellow blooms with long, narrow petals and a scarlet throat visible through ruffled lips.
Thick, glossy green leaves offer a contrast with the pale blooms that measure about 2 in. (5 cm) across.
The plant reaches about 6 in. (15 cm) at mature height.
This miniature orchid species has a wide distribution area in the wild, having been found growing throughout Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. This is undoubtedly due to its tolerance of different elevations, from 100 meters to 1200 meters above sea level.
10. Cattleya praestans
Cattleya praestans is a small miniature orchid with an adult height of between 3 – 5 in (7.5 – 12 cm) but with huge blooms that span about 2 in. (5 cm) across.
With broad lavender petals and darker fuchsia lips, this eye-catching miniature cattleya has the unsurprising nickname “The Outstanding Laelia.”
It grows at high elevations in the mountains of South America, between 1500 – 3300 meters (5000 – 11000 feet) above sea level.
11. Cattleya pumila
Cattleya pumila has slender blooms that are white or purplish in color, sometimes with a darker-colored vein that runs through the middle of each petal.
Its solitary blooms measure 3 – 4 in. (7.5 – 11 cm) across and bloom during the autumn. There are rarely more than 1 or 2 flowers blooming at one time. It has a mature adult height of between 4 – 6 in. (10 – 15 cm).
Cattleya pumila is one of the few miniature orchid species that tolerate partial shade alongside high humidity.
It is native to swamps and marshes in South America.
12. Cattleya reginae
Cattleya reginae has the smallest blooms of the species on our list, with each flower measures 0.5 – 1 inch (1.5 – 2.5 cm) across.
It is also a compact orchid, measuring between 3 – 4 in. (7.5 – 11 cm) tall.
The pastel blossoms are white, pink, or purple with five slender petals that don’t overlap. The petals are thick and succulent that hold water.The flowers bloom in groups of 2 to 6.
It originates from the Minas Gerais area of Brazil.
13. Cattleya schilleriana
Considered one of the most unique and prized miniature cattleya species, Cattleya schilleriana has bright purple and white striped lips and brownish petals that are either spotted or solid in color.
Cattleya schilleriana is one of the larger species on our list that still qualifies as a miniature cattleya, with a mature adult height of 10 inches (25.5 cm) and blooms that measure 4 in. (10 cm) across.
14. Cattleya lucasiana
Cattleya lucasiana is one of the smallest miniature orchids that grows up to 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) only.
But it has flower stems that are 5 to 8 inches (13 to 20 cm) long and gorgeous flowers that can spread to 1 3/4″ (3 to 5 cm) wide. Its blooms have flat pink petals and a yellow lip.
It grows on rock fissures in Brazil. It can be potted up with a coarse medium such as LECA. It thrives in a well-ventilated, quick-drying growing medium and bright light.
15. Cattleya bicalhoi
Also known as Laelia dayana, Cattleya bicalhoi is one of the smallest miniature orchids which can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) only but its flowers are large measuring between 4-7 cm in diameter.
It blooms have beautiful white or pink petals and a purple lip.
It can bloom in summer and fall. It naturally grows in tropical forests around 3000 feet in Brazil.
It grows well in bright shades.
16. Cattleya coccinea (or Sophronitis coccinea)
The plant is also known as Sophronitis coccinea (also commonly known as “Scarlett Cattleya” or “The Scarlet Sophronitis”) because it was formerly considered as part of the genus Sophronitis.
The whole plant is tiny (4-6 inches or 10-15 cm) with large orange-red flowers (1.5-3 inches or 5-8cm wide).
It has compact pseudobulbs less than 1 inch tall.
Its petals are orange red or red in color. It blooms year-round with flowers that can last for 6 to 8 weeks.
Unlike most other cattleyas, it is not fragrant.
It is native to the tropical mountainous rainforests of Brazil, with warm temperatures (between high 30’s F or 3C and 80F or 27C) and high humidity throughout the day.
17. Cattleya aclandiae
Cattleya aclandiae is a compact orchid that can grow up to 3–5 inches (7.6–12.7 cm) only.
But its flowers are large and showy, typically measuring between 2.4 – 4 inches (6 – 10 cm) in diameter.
The flowers have purple lip and yellow sepals and petals with a purple spotted, leopard print-like pattern. It blooms in spring and summer.
The pseudobulbs are short and conical, typically reaching just 1–2 cm in length.
The leaves are long and narrow, measuring up to 25 cm in length and up to 4 cm wide.
It is native to Brazil.
18. Cattleya citrina
Cattleya citrina (also known as “tulip orchid”) is also a compact miniature cattleya with tightly clustered pseudobulbs, which is 1.6-2.4 inches (4-6 cm) in length.
Its flowers have a unique, strong lemon fragrance. Its blooms are bright yellow and are large measuring up to 2.0–2.6 inches (5–6.5 cm) in diameter.
It grows hanging upside down off from a large tree in cool, dry environments.
19. Cattleya intermedia
Cattleya intermedia has a compact form which is around 5-8 inches (13-20cm) tall with large flat flowers that can spread up to 3.5 inches (9cm) wide.
Cattleya intermedia comes in a variety of colors but the typical variety has pale lavender petals with a purple lip and has a sweet fragrance like roses.
It is native to Brazil.
20. Cattleya kerrii
Cattleya Kerrii has a medium size for a miniature orchid, measuring up to 6-11 inches (15-30 cm) tall.
Its flowers spread up to 1.6-3 inches (4-7 cm) wide. It blooms in the summer with light purple petals and a white lip.
It thrives in warm temperatures and is native to Brazil.
What is your favorite mini-Cattleya? Check out our list of miniature Phalaenopsis as well.