The Cattleya Alliance is a group of approximately 40 Neotropical orchid genera comprising the subtribe Laelinae. Most people are familiar with a number of genera including Laelia, Cattleya, Sophronitis, and Brassavola. These four genera are often hybridized together creating some of the most beautiful flowers in the orchid world. There are, however, many beautiful genera that you may not recognize as being part of the alliance: Barkeria, Broughtonia, Encyclia, Epidendrum, and Leptotes to name a few. To enjoy some of the diversity that the Cattleya Alliance has to offer, check out this photo collection from the St. Augustine Orchid Society.
As a Neotropical group, the Cattleya Alliance generally prefers moderate to high light and intermediate to warm temperatures which makes them an excellent choice for many home growers. This group tends to have fleshy leaves and pseudobulbs as well as thick roots which makes them well-adapted to drying out. Repot every couple years to avoid soggy potting materials, and allow the plants to dry out between waterings. For more general information on growing these plants, visit the American Orchid Society website.