BEGINNERS' HANDBOOK — XVI

The Cypripedium Tribe or Ladyslipper Orchids

WHILE THE LADYSLIPPER ORCHIDS probably rank next to Cattleyas in popularity and extent of cultivation, there is no group with as many controversial aspects. The stiff waxy or leathery flowers are considered by their admirers as among the most beautiful of orchids, yet there are many orchid hobbyists who shudder at the (to them) repulsive flowers or who find Paphs artificial-looking. Cultural techniques are as varied as the growers, light requirements and composts are topics for heated arguments, and breeding objectives are a source of controversy among the hybridists. Further, the techniques of seed germination in this tribe are still debatable or experimental, despite the evident success and numerous explanations of many germinators.

Much of the controversy can be ignored in this installment of the BEGINNERS' HANDBOOK, but some of these doubts will come into focus, at least, as we delve into the history of this genus of plants, the tropical Asiatic Ladyslippers which we shall correctly call Paphiopedilums.

THE GENUS PAPHIOPEDILUM


Paphiopedilum callosum 'Ontario Giant', HCC/AOS. Grown by Norman's Orchids, photograph from the AOS Archives.
History: — The hardy temperate Ladyslipper was well known to the early students of natural history since it is widely distributed throughout Europe and the Mediterranean area, as well as Russia, Siberia, Manchuria and Japan. In 1753, Linnaeus, father of modern systematic botany, named and described the genus Cypripedium, using as a type for the genus the European Yellow Ladyslipper, Cypripedium calceolus. He derived the name from the Greek Kypris, a Greek name for Venus and podion, which literally means "a little foot." Whether his knowledge of Greek was faulty, whether he had some other concept in mind or whether it was a slip of the pen, we shall never know, but Linnaeus would have been on firmer ground had he derived the name from the Greek podilon, meaning "slipper" and — most important — he would have prevented a great deal of subsequent debate and confusion. For whatever reasons, he named the genus as he did, and we must use the name as published, Cypripedium, to be correct. For many years this name was used to cover not only the temperate species but also the tropical Asiatic forms which, beginning with "Cypripedium" venustum in 1821, were being discovered and described in increasing numbers.

In 1846, an odd form of Ladyslipper from Colombia, in which the lip was extended into a long ribbon similar to the petals and three fertile stamens were present, was described by Lindley as Uropedium lindenii, a new but allied genus being created to accommodate this curiosity. Reichenbach, in 1854, pointed out that this new form along with the tropical American forms were characterized by a three-celled ovary like the allied Apostasieae instead of a one-celled ovary as in the temperate species, and these he separated from true Cypripediums into a new genus Selenipedium. Later, Uropedium lindenii was proved to be a monstrosity, a peloric form of what was then known as Selenipedium caudatum. In 1886, the great German botanist Dr. Ernst Pfitzer removed the leathery-leaved species of Selenipedium and united them with the tropical Asiatic Cypripediums of similar habit to form a new genus which he called Paphiopedilum (using the Greek TroSiAoi-, podilon, "a slipper"), the leathery-leaved "Selenipediums" constituting a section called Phragmopedilum. Hallier in 1896 dealt with the genus, following Pfitzer's arrangement but re-orienting the species into related groups. Then in THE ORCHID REVIEW for November and December, 1896, R. A. Rolfe published a study of the subfamily Diandrae in which, among other things, he separated the Ladyslipper orchids into four distinct genera. He retained the genus Cypripedium of Linnaeus and the genus Selenipedium of Reichenbach. He established a new genus which he called Phragmipedium to accept the species which Pfitzer had placed in the section Phragmopedilum of the genus Paphiopedilum. Finally, except for this section, he accepted the genus Paphiopedilum but, using logic rather than proper nomenclatorial principles, he changed Pfitzer's generic name from Paphiopedilum to Paphiopedium, believing that all four genera should have the same termination. Finally, in 1903 in Engler's "Das Pflanzenreich," Pfitzer published a comprehensive monograph of the Cypripedium tribe and its presumed allies. Here Pfitzer, like Rolfe, used equally valid logic plus sound etymology but not correct principles of nomenclature, maintaining the four distinct genera under the names Cypripedilum, Selenipedilum, Paphiopedilum and Phragmopedilum

Accepting the soundness of Rolfe's and Pfitzer's four generic concepts, it is still necessary for us to remain true to the principles of botanical nomenclature where such can be readily discerned. Therefore, the correct terminology for the four genera of Ladyslippers is Cypripedium L. (the L. standing for Linnaeus, the founder of the genus), Selenipedium Rchb. f., Paphiopedilum Pfitz., and Phragmipedium Rolfe. 

Thus we see the tortuous path of rectitude in orchids as in other phases of life! But the difficulty does not end there. The Ladyslippers which are grown horticulturally are members of the tropical Asiatic group known as Paphiopedilum but since the name was established only in 1886, the plants had become widely known, illustrated and cultivated under the name Cypripedium, and to this day practically all growers use this name for their beloved "Cyps." Nevertheless, in this chapter, since we are treating the genus and species botanically, we will use the correct name of Paphiopedilum, with the hope that after the Second World Orchid Conference in Hawaii in September. 1957, we will all unite behind one acceptable name for these plants.

Botanical description: — The genus Paphiopedilum includes about fifty species which are closely allied. Many of the species are quite variable in nature, raising the possibility that these polymorphic groups are natural hybrids, with the ancestral forms either unrecognized or extinct. A broad generalization of the genus follows: 

Plant terrestrial (rarely epiphytic) with short stout rhizomes, non-pseudobulhous, bearing two ranks of alternate leaves, the lowermost sometimes being reduced to leaf-like sheaths. Leaves generally narrow and strap-like, occasionally broad and nearly orbicular in some species; they are conduplicate, channelled on the upper surface and keeled beneath; green, mottled or tessellated with under surface spotted or stained with dull purple in some species. Inflorescence arising from the overlapping bases of the leaves, usually erect but sometimes nodding or arched, Scape frequently quite hairy and bearing from one to several bracts at the base of the pedicels of the flowers. Flowers usually one to two in most species, three to several in some species, large, showy, colorful and either waxy or leathery in texture. Sepals spreading, the dorsal one free and prominent, the lateral two fused together to or almost to their tips and located behind the lip. Petals spreading, free, much narrower than the sepals, frequently adorned with hairs, spots or warts. Lip inflated, slipper-shaped, the lateral lobes at the base small and turned inward, their edges nearly meeting; the inner surface opposite the aperture usually pubescent or bristly. Column short and terete, usually covered with erect bristles, bearing two fertile anthers, one on each side, behind the stigmatic plate, the third anther modified into a shield-shaped staminode which covers and conceals the column, anthers and stigma. Pollen granulose, usually coated with a sticky fluid. Ovary single celled. 

The best and most recent treatment of the genus is by Pfitzer who divided Paphiopedilum into three subgenera, each subgenus being further divided into one or more sections. The precise limits of each subgenus are not without criticism, but they may be paraphrased as follows: 

I. Subgenus Brachypetalum:—Lip slipper-shaped, without auricles, with very short claw, the forward margin slightly rolled inward; petals very broadly elliptic or almost orbicular; leaves short elliptic, tessellated above, more or less purplish beneath; scape one- or two-flowered.
II. Subgenus Anotopedilum: — Lip slipper-shaped, without auricles, claw sloping downward, almost as long as slipper, forward margin simple, not rolled inward; petals elongate; leaves green on each side and strap-shaped; scape several-flowered.
III. Subgenus Otopedilum: — Lip slipper-shaped with auricles, saccate claw almost as long as slipper, the forward margin simple, not rolled inward; petals elongate; leaves various; scape several- to one-flowered.
 
Allied genera: — Horticulturally, the genus Paphiopedilum is the most important of the four genera which make up the subtribe Cypripedileae. Occasionally a few species or hybrids of Phragmipedium are grown, while Cypripediums are sometimes transplanted to wildflower gardens with moderate success. The true Selenipediums are not found in cultivation. All four genera can be readily distinguished from other orchids by their possession of two distinct fertile anthers and the pouch-like lip.


Cypripedium reginae 'Cotton Candy', AM/AOS. Grown by Cody Cruise, phtograph copyright Brian Maskell

The genus Cypripedium is distinguished from Paphiopedilum by the plicate (that is, folded like a fan) leaves of the former, the latter having duplicate (folded lengthwise in half) leaves. Further, the flowers of Cypripedium remain on the stem after withering while in Paphiopedilum the flowers are deciduous, each dropping off its pedicel after the flower is old or the ovary has become fertilized. Cypripedium is a widespread genus of about fifty species distributed over the north temperate and tropical zones of both hemispheres. The genus was founded by Linnaeus in 1753 on the European species, Cypripedium calceolus. The species are primarily hardy terrestrials, seldom cultivated. 


Selenipedium aequinoctiale 'Erich's Adventure', CBR/AOS. Grown by Hoosier Orchid Co., photograph copyright James E. McCulloch

Selenipedium is a South American genus of but three known species, the stems being reed-like and tall, up to fifteen feet, with alternate plicate leaves which distinguish them from Paphiopedilums. Selenipediums somewhat resemble the native Cypripediums such as C. reginae, but possess a three-celled ovary whereas Cypripedium has a one-celled ovary. The species are not known to cultivation.


Phragmipedium caudatum 'Fox Valley', AM/AOS. Grown by Fox Valley Orchids Ltd., photograph copyright Jim Pyrzynski

Phragmipedium, a tropical American, predominantly South American, genus of about a dozen species, resembles Paphiopedilum in appearance, having duplicate leaves and similarities in plant habit and flower form. It is distinguished by its three-celled ovary and by the fact that the margin of the orifice of the lip turns inward instead of outward as in most Paphiopedilums. The Phragmipediums usually have long, attenuated petals and bear several flowers simultaneously, a feature found in only a few of the Paphiopedilums. Only a few species and hybrids are seen in cultivation now. When grown, they require treatment similar to the cool types of Paphiopedilums since they are found naturally at high altitudes. Among the more frequently found species are Phragmipedium caudatum, Phrag. schlimii and Phrag. vittatum, while the most common hybrids are Phrag. Grande, Phrag. Sedcnii and Phrag. Cardinale. In cultivation these plants have been customarily — and incorrectly — called Selenipediums and are so listed in Sanders' "Complete List of Orchid Hybrids." The species, Phrag. schlimii, is a good one for the hobbyist because of its habit of flowering almost continually under moderately good care.

Geographical distribution: — The species of Paphiopedilum come from the tropical regions of Asia, the Malayan Archipelago, Indonesia and the Philippines. Within this great expanse, however, the species are greatly localized, even on the Asiatic mainland. The insular species, such as the three found in the Philippines, are generally endemic, being found nowhere else.

The species of the subgenus Brachypetalum are found mostly in the calcareous regions of Southern Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaya and the islands bordering these countries. The species of the other two subgenera range from Northern India, through Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines and New Guinea. One species, P. druryi, comes from the Travancore hills of south India. The range of each species is, with few exceptions, quite limited. 


Mexipedium (Phragmipedium) xerophyticum 'Big Boy', HCC/AOS. Grown by Valerie Henderson, photograph copyright Michael Gallagher

This far-flung distribution of the genus, coupled with the restricted range of each species, makes generalizations quite difficult. As a rule, the Paphiopedilums are terrestrial plants preferring limestone soils, although P. lowii, P. parishii and P. villosum have been found growing as epiphytes in branches of trees. The altitudinal range is from sea level to over 7,000 feet, the mottled-leaved varieties generally coming from the lower and warmer areas, the solid green-leaved species being found in the cooler climates. This distinction is only a practical approximation, for such green-leaved species as P. haynaldianum are warm types from near sea level to 2,000 feet on various islands of the Philippines, while P. argus, a mottled-leaved species, is found in the higher elevations of Luzon up to 7,000 feet, according to R. S. Davis.

Veitch, commenting on their habitat and distribution, states: "They either follow certain mountain chains on which the species occur in groups of twos and threes, or are isolated and far remote from each other, or they are confined to particular islands or groups of islands. In the former case they usually occur at a considerable elevation, where the rainfall is copious and frequent, and the dry season is of short duration; in these elevated situations they are found growing chiefly on the ledges and in the crevices of the limestone rocks, which constitute the chief geological features of these mountain ranges, in places where there is a small accumulation of decaying vegetable matter. These localities are often steep and precipitous, extremely difficult of access, sometimes fully exposed to the sun's rays, but more frequently in partial shade afforded by projections and overhanging trees. The insular species usually occur at a much lower elevation, not infrequently close to the sea shore, and where the mean average temperature is naturally higher than that in which the mountain species grow.'' 

List of species: — Since 1903, when Pfitzer did his monographic study of the genus, several new species of Paphiopedilums have been discovered, and they are incorporated in the groupings below. In addition, on the basis of the cytogenetic studies of the genus by Duncan and MacLeod, several species have been shifted into a subgenus different from that to which Pfitzer assigned them. The following listing is intended to show relationships. Later, the descriptions of the species will be arranged alphabetically for easy reference.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  SINCE THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 1956, THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS TREATMENTS OF THE GENUS.  MOLECULAR ANALYSIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THREE SUBGENERA; BRACHYPETALUM, PARVISEPALUM AND PAPHIOPEDILUM WITH THE LATTER SUBGENUS DIVIDED INTO THREE SECTIONS; CORYOPEDILUM, PAPHIOPEDILUM AND BARBARA.

PAPHIOPEDILUM subgenus Brachypetalum
bellatulum, godefroyae, concolor, niveum

PAPHIOPEDILUM subgenus Parvisepalum
delenatii, armeniacum, malipoense, micranthum
 

PAPHIOPEDILUM section Coryopedilum
rothschildianum, glanduliferum, philippinense, sanderianum, stonei, parishii, lowii, haynaldianum, victoriae mariae, chamberlainianum, glaucophyllum

PAPHIOPEDILUM section Paphiopedilum
hirsutissimum
villosum, insigne, exul, charlesworthii, druryi, spicerianum, fairrieanum

PAPHIOPEDILUM section Barbata
curtisii, ciliolare, superbiens, argus, barbatum, callosum, lawrenceanum, venustum, wardii, tonsum, mastersianum, javanicum, dayanum, purpuratum
 

The grouping above is not to be considered definitive nor complete. A number of concepts are omitted, either because of rarity or dubious validity. A thorough classification awaits some future genius equipped with taxonomic training, genetic knowledge, cytogenetic skills and an infinite capacity for work.

Blooming habits: — The majority of the Paphiopedilums bear only a single flower on each stem although under excellent culture they may produce two flowers on occasion. In the subgenus Anotopedilum, however, the species normally have from three to seven flowers at a time, while in one section of the subgenus Otopedilum (P. victoriae mariae, P. chamberlainianum and P. glaucophyllum) the plants produce flowers successively, sometimes as many as thirty in a six-month period.

The blooming season varies with the species so that it is possible to have Paphiopedilums in flower throughout the year if a collection is carefully selected and grown. The hybrids most commonly cultivated derive from the species P. insigne, P. spicerianum and P. villosum, along with several other species, blooming mostly in the late fall and winter. Some hybrids from the mottled-leaved group flower in the spring, such hybrids containing P. callosum and its allies. In the late spring and summer the so-called "whites" are in bloom, hybrids springing from P. niveum, P. bellatulum and the related species. Among the modern exhibition types, the hybrids are quite complex with many generations of hybridization behind them. The variability and complexity of their background produces a rather broad blooming season, even for a single cross. 

Little work has been done with species of this genus on the changing of blooming season through control of light and temperature. Rotor has shown that the flowering of P. insigne is not influenced by daylength but that maintenance of a minimum temperature of 65 F or above prevents the formation of flower buds. Thus, by holding plants at 65 F the bud initiation can be delayed until desired, a drop in the temperature to 55 F setting the buds after which time the buds develop normally regardless of temperature or daylength. Additional work on other species would be of considerable interest. However, since most cut flowers in this genus come from complex hybrids with varied genetic constitution, it might be difficult to control blooming by photoperiodic controls, even if some of the species would show photoperiodic response.

General culture: — From the standpoint of growing conditions, Paphiopedilums may be divided into two groups: (i) the warm type with tessellated or mottled leaves; (2) the cool type with solid green leaves. These distinctions are not very sharp in all cases, however. The chief difference in the cultural requirements of these two groups is that the minimum temperature for the warm type is 60-65 F or above, while the minimum temperature for the cooler type is 50-55 F and, in most instances, night temperatures during the period of bud initiation must be down to this point for proper flowering. A maximum temperature of 80 F during the day is a good target for both groups, the cool types growing better at slightly lower temperatures. Both groups will endure 90 F or even higher temperature for short periods, but prolonged high temperature quickly vitiates the plants.

In warm areas, such as South Florida or the lower elevations of Hawaii, Paphiopedilums of the cool type do not grow well or else prosper only under the most attentive techniques, but the warmer types can be grown with moderate success. Recent developments seem to indicate that heavy shading plus selection of varieties and breeding may expand the possibilities of growing Paphiopedilums in warmer areas. 

Light requirement of Paphiopedilums is fortunately low, being among the lowest in the orchid family. Paphiopedilums will grow under as little as 300 footcandles of light, but normal culture should provide more — from 600 to 800 — during the summer and around 1,000 footcandles in the winter. Paphiopedilums will take up to 2,000-3,000 footcandles but less light will be safer and produce satisfactory growth. Any change of light intensity, especially from low to higher quantities, should be done gradually or damage may result. Too little light, however, may create conditions ideal for the inception and spread of certain bacterial or fungal infections.

Water is a constant necessity, since the plants grow continuously and have no pseudobulbs or other water storage organs. The potting medium should never be allowed to dry out but should remain moist, the watering schedule being dependent upon environmental factors. The potting medium should provide excellent drainage and watering should be thorough, possibly twice a week under ordinary bright conditions. To avoid bacterial or fungal attacks, watering should be done carefully in the pots, with a minimum of water on the leaves, especially in the winter when ventilation is reduced or when sunlight is limited by cloudy weather. On warm, bright days the plants may be lightly misted to provide moisture in between regular waterings. Misting or spraying for humidity, however, is seldom necessary as the humidity requirement in this genus is lower than for Cattleyas and other epiphytic kinds. 

Ventilation should be good but where outside air may bring in heat or cold, or be excessively drying, it is advisable to provide air movement by means of an electric fan, the size depending upon the size of the the growing area.  With inside ventilation, strong currents of air will be beneficial when the air is of uniform temperature; cold drafts or blasts of heated air should be avoided. 

Potting media for Paphiopedilums are varied, with each grower having his favorite mix or personal preference. Success does not depend on the medium but on the cultural methods being in harmony with the medium used. The essential requirement of a potting medium is that it should be both freely draining and at the same time retain enough moisture.  Currently themost popular potting mixes contain a mixture of organic (fir or pine bark, tree0fern fiber, sphagnum peat or coconut husk chips and fiber) and inorganic (lava rock, granular rock wool, Styrofoam chips and or perlite) components.  This is often supplemented with powdered dolomite lime or other calcium-containing compounds like crushed oyster shell or marble chips.  Many growers also add activated charcoal.

The beginner is well advised to err on the side of moderation with regard to feeding his Paphiopedilums. A few species such as those in the Brachypetalum group are intolerant of high salt concentration or very low pH, indicated by leaf-tip dieback.  Good healthy growth is assured with little fertilizer and there is less opportunity for bacterial rot. 

In potting, the plant should not be inserted too deeply into the medium, the surface of the osmunda or mix being no higher than the base of the leaves. On the other hand, don't have the rhizome above the compost, exposing the roots. The osmunda should be potted firm but not too hard, as the roots of Paphiopedilums are fairly thick. A friable compost such as oak leaf-mold should be tamped down firmly. 

Don't divide too severely when repotting. Allow at least one old flowered growth to each new growth. Unless in a hurry to increase stock (which has more meaning to a commercial grower than to an amateur) it is better to grow larger plants, with several growths. Big specimen plants of Paphiopedilums are extremely attractive, and new growths are vigorous when supported by a larger plant behind them. In dividing, it is better to grasp the plant at the base, breaking the rhizome with a gentle pressure, for cutting with a knife is an easy way to spread infection; bacterial, fungal and viral diseases. The broken rhizome should be painted with Tree-Seal and allowed to dry before repotting. Repotting should be done shortly after flowering, the old compost being thoroughly washed off, the old roots trimmed close. After repotting, the plants should be kept relatively dry, with misting on the foliage from several days to a week, deepnding on weather. Water lightly until root action is evident. Do not begin heavy watering until the new growth has begun. 

SPECIES OF PAPHIOPEDILUM
There are about fifty species (EDITOR'S NOTE:  THE WORLD CHECKLIST OF SELECTED PLANT FAMILIES RECOGNIZES 72 SPECIES AND NUMBER NATURAL HYBRIDS - SEPTEMBER 2010) of Paphiopedilum currently recognized by orchid taxonomists, more or less according to individual views. Many more names have been applied to the varied forms which appear in nature. Since a number of the species are rather rare, the following list is not comprehensive but does include those species most apt to be found available to the beginner. The species are inexpensive, for the most part, and a number of them are highly recommended to the beginner. As the hobbyist's taste becomes more sophisticated, however, he will want to secure some of the many fine hybrids which are on the market. The hybrids are too numerous and too varied to be included in this article.  The following is but a partial list of species.


Paphiopedilum argus 'Pennington', HCC/AOS. Grown by Tim Stout, photograph from the AOS Archives.

Paphiopedilum argus: Philippines. Discovered by Gustav Wallis on the island of Luzon in 1872, it first flowered in Europe in the Chelsea nursery of James Veitch and Sons in April, 1873, at which time it was described by Reichenbach in the GARDENERS' CHRONICLE. The name is derived from a character in Greek mythology, Argus, a monster with a hundred eyes, in allusion to the eye-like warty spots on the petals. The leaves are mottled, the erect flower scape a foot high, bearing a solitary (sometimes two) flower 2}/2 to 3 inches across. The dorsal sepal is whitish, with green stripes, the petals whitish with dark purple spots and pale green veins. The pouch is greenish with dark purple veins. Flowers from March through May.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum barbatum 'Payton', AM/AOS. Grown by Dorcas A. Brogdon, photograph copyright John Hyatt

Paphiopedilum barbatum: Malay Peninsula. Discovered in 1840 by Cuming on Mount Ophir, near Malacca, it was flowered by Messrs. Loddiges in the summer of 1841, at which time Lindley described it in the BOTANICAL REGISTER. The specific name, meaning "bearded," refers to the "hairy shining warts which border the upper edge of the petals"; this character is shared by numerous species and hence has little meaning. The narrowly oblong leaves, from 4 to 6 inches long, are pale dull green above, tessellated with deep green. The foot-high scapes bear one (rarely two) flower, each 2 1/2  to 3 inches across. The dorsal sepal is green at the base, the rest white, flushed and veined with purple. The petals are spreading, somewhat deflexed, with ciliate margins, the upper margins fringed with small blackish warts. The lip is deep brownish purple. The species is variable, with several named varieties. Blooms in June and July, but season varies with different plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum bellatulum 'Haur Jih #3', AM/AOS. Grown by Haur Jih Orchid Nursery, Photograph copyright Jea Shang

Paphiopedilum bellatulum: Thailand. First introduced by Messrs. Low and Co., in 1888, it was described that year by Reichenbach in the GARDENERS' CHRONICLE. A handsome vigorous species of compact habit, with broad tessellated leaves marked with deep purple beneath, it is a beautiful and satisfying plant for the beginner. The 2- to 3-inch flowers are white or cream spotted uniformly with purple maroon, borne singly on very short stems so that the flowers seem to nest in the leaves like Easter eggs in a basket. There are several fine varieties, all equally worth growing. The species flowers mostly in the summer, but the flowering season is variable under cultivation.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum callosum 'Ontario Giant', HCC/AOS. Grown by Norman's Orchids, photograph from the AOS Archives.

Paphiopedilum callosum: Thailand. Discovered by Alexandre Regnier in 1885 and described in 1886 by Reichenbach in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE, it is a remarkably attractive species, noted for the very large dorsal sepal which at times is nearly three inches across. Leaves bright green with blackish tessellation above, gray-green and keeled beneath, about 7 to 9 inches long. Flowers are quite large, appearing singly on the 15 inch scape. The dorsal sepal is folded at the midvein, undulate at the top, and striped with green to purple against a white background. The slightly deflexed petals are pale green and striped, with rose-purple tips, the upper margins warted and ciliate. The pouch is brownish purple, greenish beneath, the infolded lobes spotted with deep purple. One of the largest species in the genus, with several very fine varieties, it is highly recommended for the beginner, to grow in the warm house. Blooms about February and March.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum vicotoria-regina (chamberlainianum 'Dark Beauty', AM/AOS. Grown by Pamela & Jim Dunham, photograph copyright William Ammerman

Paphiopedilum chamberlainianum (correctly victoria-regina): Sumatra*. One of the more recent discoveries in this genus, it was first collected by Micholitz in 1891, and described by James O'Brien in 1892 in JOURNAL OF HORTICULTURE, being dedicated to Sir Joseph Chamberlain. A robust species, with bright green, lightly tessellated leaves about a foot long, flowers produced successively, sometimes up to twenty or more, on a purple-brown scape about a foot to nearly two feet long. Flowers up to four inches across, dorsal sepal nearly orbicular, white or greenish with rosy veins, heavy rose spots toward base. Petals more or less twisted, margins undulate and ciliate, green with parallel broken lines of dark purple. Lip rose spotted with dark red. A handsome but rare species. Flowers at various seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum charlesworthii 'Hooded', AM/AOS. Grown by Krull-Smith, photograph copyright Ernest Walters

Paphiopedilum charlesworthii: Burma. Introduced by the firm of Messrs. Charlesworth, Shuttleworth and Co., in the autumn of 1893, it was described in the first volume of The ORCHID REVIEW by Rolfe who named it in honor of Mr. Charlesworth. A distinctive type of Paphiopedilum, the plant is of dwarf habit, with narrow, green leaves and a nine-inch scape which bears a single flower. The dorsal sepal is transversely orbicular, flat, white suffused and veined with rose. Petals widely spreading, yellow-green reticulated with brown, the smallish pouch rosy brown and glossy, the staminode white. While not commonly seen in collections today, it is an attractive and worthwhile species, blooming in the late summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum ciliolare 'Paynes End', CBM/AOS. Grown by David M.Diamond, photograph copyright Charles M. Fitch

Paphiopedilum ciliolare: Philippines. Introduced in 1882 by Low and Co., it was described the same year by Reichenbach in the GARDENERS' CHRONICLE, the name referring to the dense marginal hairs on the petals. The narrow, obtuse leaves, about six inches long, are tessellated with deep and pale green, from which springs the one-flowered foot-high scape. The flowers are of medium size, the dorsal sepal broadly ovate, white with purple at the base, the veins green and purple, the margin fringed with hairs. The petals are somewhat deflexed, margined with long black hairs, the basal portion green densely spotted with blackish warts to two-thirds of their length, the apical portion pale purple. Lip prominent, dull purplish brown, the staminode greenish stained with pale rose. A striking species akin to P. superbiens, it is one of the easily grown warm species which flowers in April and May.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum concolor 'Shirley', CCM/AOS. Grown by Michael Roccaforte, photograph from the AOS archives

Paphiopedilum concolor: Burma, Thailand, Indo-China. Originally discovered by the Rev. C. Parish in 1859 in the neighborhood of Moulmein, it was not introduced into European cultivation until 1864, when living plants were imported by Messrs. Low and Co. It was named by Parish but described and illustrated by Bateman in the BOTANICAL MAGAZINE in 1865. This was the first recorded species of this group of dwarf plants which includes P. niveum, P. godefroyae, P. bellatulum and P. delenatii (EDITOR'S NOTE: PAPH. DELENATII IS NOW CLASSIFIED AS PART OF A NEW SECTION - PARVISEPALUM - INCLUDING MANY OF THE NEWLY DESCRIBED CHINESE SPECIES). The oval leaves are about three to five inches long, mottled above with grayish green on a deep green ground, the under surface spotted with purple. Scapes very short, usually one- but occasionally two-flowered, the flowers about two to three inches across, pale yellow with tiny purple dots, more heavily marked toward the base of the sepals and petals. Dorsal sepal nearly orbicular, the petals broadly elliptic, the lip small, somewhat flattened and conical in outline, both sepals and petals fringed with minute hairs. A very variable species, with several distinctive forms, it enjoys the addition of limestone or pieces of old mortar in its compost as does P. bellatulum. A very desirable species for the hobbyist. Blooms in early summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum superbiens 'Massive', AM/AOS. Grown by Orchids Limited, photograph copyright Rhonda Peters

Paphiopedilum curtisii: See Paph. superbiens of which it is a synonym.  Sumatra. Found by C. Curtis in 1882, near Padang at an elevation of 3,000-4,000 feet, it was introduced by the Messrs. Veitch, and de¬scribed by Reichenbach in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE in honor of its collector. Intermediate between P. ciliolare and P. superbiens, it has large, well-proportioned flowers. Leaves oblong, tessellated, about six to eight inches long. Scapes nine to twelve inches high, one-flowered. Dorsal sepal broadly heart shaped, with pointed apex, grass-green with wide white margin, veins numerous, green, turning to brownish purple toward the base. Petals deflexed, turned back at tip, margined with blackish hairs and warts, veined with green and spotted with purple on a pale purple ground. Lip large, dull brownish purple. An attractive species with an especially striking albino variety Sanderae, it usually flowers in May and June.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum dayanum 'J & L', AM/AOS. Grown by L.B. Kuhn, photograph copyright Charles M. Fitch

Paphiopedilum dayanum: Borneo. Discovered by Sir Hugh Low on Mount Kina Balu, it was sent to Messrs. Low and Co. and thence to Mr. Day in whose garden it flowered in the summer of 1860. Mr. Day's gardener named it Cypripedium dayanum and it was so described by Reichenbach in BOTANISCHE ZEITUNG in 1862. A tessellated species, the leaves vary in color. Scape one-flowered, eight to twelve inches high. Flowers large, the dorsal sepal broadly ovate, acuminate, ciliolate, white veined neatly with green. Petals slightly deflexed, fringed with long black hairs, the basal half brownish, the apical half dull rose-purple. Lip nearly cone-shaped, flattened sideways at apex, brownish purple veined with green. Rare in cultivation. Blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum delenatii 'John Rogan', AM/AOS. Grown by John Rogan, photograph copyright Maurice Marietti

Paphiopedilum delenatii: Indo-China. First brought into Europe from Tonkin province in 1913 by M. Delenat, then chief gardener at the Palace of Saint-Germani-en-Laye, it was described by the French botanist Guillaumin in BULL, Soc. Box. FRANCE in 1924, in honor of its introducer. Later, in 1922, it was found in Annam, another province of Indo-China and has since been fairly widely distributed in cultivation. Dainty and petite, it is one of the most delightful orchids for any collection. The short, elliptic dark green leaves are mottled with light green, the under surfaces being light green spotted with wine-red. The relatively tall scape bears one to two flowers, each nearly three inches across. The dorsal sepal is ovate, pointed, pubescent on outer surface and margin, white with flush of rose. Petals oval, nearly round, whiter than dorsal sepal, pubescent on margin. The lip is globose, the edges of the orifice rolled inward, white flushed with rose, lightly spotted with lavender. Blooms in late winter and early spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum druryi 'Marriott Monarch', AM/AOS. Grown by Marriott Orchids, photograph copyright James Osen

Paphiopedilum druryi: Travancore. This highly distinct species was discovered in 1865 on the Travancore Hills in south India, at an elevation of 5,000-6,000 feet, by Colonel Drury. Later, Colonel Beddome found it abundant in the same hills, in flower in January and in his ICONES PLANTARUM INDIES ORIENTALIS published in 1874. he described the species, naming it for Colonel Drury. The leaves are strap-shaped and uniformly bright green, scapes about nine to twelve inches high, one-flowered, flowers of medium size. Dorsal sepal broadly oval, margin ciliolate, greenish yellow with a broad blackish median band. Petals turned inward, somewhat undulate, dull golden yellow with a broad blackish median line and some blackish warts toward the base. Lip bright yellow spotted with red-purple on the inside. Geographically the most isolated of the Paphiopedilums, it generally flowers in March and April.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum exul 'Phuket', AM/AOS. Grown by Dorothy L. Stevenson, photograph from the AOS archives

Paphiopedilum exul: Siam. Introduced into England in 1892, it was described by James O'Brien in that year in the GARDENERS' CHRONICLE. Leaves strap-shaped, dark green, up to about eight inches long. Flowers about three inches across, solitary on the ten- to twelve-inch scape. Dorsal sepal ovate, yellow-green with white border, spotted with brown. Petals green-yellow, spotted and netted with brown. Lip shining yellow veined with tan. Not widely cultivated. Blooming season varies.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum fairrieanum 'Dean', AM/AOS. Grown by James & Jo-Ann Dean, photograph copyright James W. Clarkson

Paphiopedilum fairrieanum: Assam. The origin of this charming species is obscure, it having first appeared in England in 1857, presumably in a shipment of East Indian orchids from Assam. A plant in flower was exhibited by Mr. Fairie of Aigburth, near Liverpool, at a meeting of the Horticultural Society of London in October of that year, and Lindley described it in the GARDENERS' CHRONICLE, naming it for its exhibitor. For many years the plant was rare and fantastically expensive, but subsequently it was imported in quantity after its "rediscovery'' in 1905. The plant is dwarf and compact in habit, the leaves strap-shaped, from four to six inches in length, of a bright green color. The slender scapes are from four to six inches in height, one-flowered, the flowers being dainty, with the grace of a ballet dancer. The dorsal sepal is heart-shaped, with undulate margin reflexed at the apex, white with yellow-green stain at base, with deep purple veins in net-like pattern. Petals deflexed and curved like a buffalo's horn, yellow-white with streaks of purple, margin wavy with tufts of hair. The lip is brownish green with purple netting of veins. A colorful, attractive species, it is not a vigorous grower but will prosper with care in an intermediate climate. Blooms from late summer through winter, according to treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum glanduliferum 'Truford', HCC/AOS. Grown by Paphanatics, unLtd., photograph copyright Richard Clark

Paphiopedilum glanduliferum: New Guinea. This species was first described and figured by the Dutch botanist Blume in RUMPHIA in 1848, from material furnished by Zippel, one of the early explorers of New Guinea. Nothing was heard of it again until 1886 at which time it was re-introduced into European gardens under the name of Cypripedium praestans. The leathery, strap-shaped leaves are up to two feet long, uniformly deep green. Scapes up to 20 inches long, blackish purple and partly mottled with light green, quite hairy, one- to three-flowered. Flowers large, dorsal sepal broadly ovate, creamy white with yellow center, longitudinal veins red-brown. Petals up to five inches long, twisted, yellow-green with red-brown longitudinal veins and prominent bearded warts on each margin towards the base. Lip pale yellow with network of red-brown veins. Staminode buff-yellow, studded with short red-brown bristles. Blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum godefroyae 'Krull's Perfection', FCC/AOS. Grown by Krull-Smith, photograph copyright Joe Bryson

Paphiopedilum godefroyae: Malayan Peninsula, Birdsnest Islands. In 1876, M. Godefroy. returning to Paris from Cochin China, learned of this species which had been discovered a short time previously by an Englishman named Murton. After several unsuccessful attempts to import some plants, M. Godefroy was at last able to receive some from a Mr. Alabaster. A description was published in ORCHIDOPHILE for 1883. The leaves are three to five inches long, deep green and more or less mottled with pale green above, densely spotted with brown-purple beneath. Scapes are from one to three inches high, pale green spotted with purple, quite hairy, one-to two-flowered. Flowers about two inches across, nearly white, boldly spotted with magenta-purple. Dorsal sepal suborbicular, petals elliptic-oblong, broad and de-flexed, lip nearly globose as in P. concolor. This is a very handsome plant, probably a natural hybrid between P. bellatulum and P. concolor, both parent species being very closely allied with P. niveum. In fact, it has been speculated that these four concepts represent intergrades and geographical variations of one extremely variable species, with P. delenatii the only other distinct species in the section Brachypetalum (EDITOR'S NOTE: CURRENT DNA STUDIES DO NOT SUPPORT THIS AND RECOGNIZE ALL AS DISTINCT SPECIES). Not commonly seen in cultivation, its cultivation is similar to P. bellatulum and its allies. There are numerous forms, all blooming around the summer months.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum haynaldianum 'Crystelle', AM/AOS. Grown by Krull Smith, photograph copyright Dan C. Backhaus

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum: Philippines. Another discovery by Gustav Wallis who introduced it for Messrs. Veitch in 1873 from San Isidro, near Manila. Reichenbach described it in XENIA ORCHIDACEA in 1874, dedicating it to Cardinal Haynald, Archbishop of Hungary and a zealous botanist. The leathery, strap-shaped leaves, about a foot or more long, are rather broad and dark green. The scapes, from 20 to 30 inches long bear up to six flowers at one time. Flowers large, from three to four inches across, the dorsal sepal yellowish green fading to white at the margin, the lower half spotted with purple along the veins. The petals are long, deflexed, twisted beyond the middle and recurved at the apex, the basal half yellowish green with large brown-purple spots, the apical half dull purple. The glossy lip is greenish suffused and veined with dull purple. A bold and striking species, its vigorous growth makes it of interest to the beginner. It is closely similar to P. lowii, and blooms from about January through March.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum 'Rookie', AM/AOS. Grown by Jim & Emily Clarkson, photograph copyright Ernest Walters

Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum: Assam, India. Introduced into England in 1857 by a collector by name of Simons, the source was not known until a subsequent introduction about 1869. It was first described in the BOTANICAL MAGAZINE for 1857 by Hooker, who drew upon a manuscript by Lindley. It is an unusual species, named "most hairy" because of the shaggy appearance of the inflorescence. The narrow, green leaves are about nine to twelve inches in length, the scapes about a foot high, green but covered with dark purple hairs. The flowers are large, all parts except the lip quite ciliated, the dorsal sepal broadly heart-shaped, the central part densely spotted with blackish purple, the broad margin green. Petals spreading, slightly twisted, the margins crisped along the basal half, the narrower basal portion green blotched and spotted with purple and studded with blackish hairs, the apical portion bright violet-purple. Lip dull green stained with brownish purple, dotted with tiny black warts. One of the cool varieties, it is of fairly easy culture, blooming from March to May.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum insigne hort. var. sanderianum 'McCloud River', AM/AOS. Grown by Woodstream Orchids, photograph copyright James Osen

Paphiopedilum insigne: Assam, Nepal, Northern Burma. Discovered by Dr. Wallich in the Sylhet district of northeast India, it flowered for the first time in Europe in the Liverpool Botanic Garden in the autumn of 1820. It was described in Lindley's COLLECTANEA BOTANICA, quoting from a manuscript of Wallich. This species was the second of the leathery-leaved "Cypripediums" to be introduced from Asia, the first being P. venustum. It is possibly the most widely grown and most important horticulturally of all the Paphiopedilums, entering into the major hybrids, having numerous named and awarded varieties, and being one of the easiest orchids to grow. The strap-shaped leaves, about eight to twelve inches long, are uniformly green, the scapes about a foot high and bearing one, very rarely two. large glossy flowers. The dorsal sepal is broadly oval, the side margins rolled back, the apex bent forward, the basal area apple-green with scattered brownish purple spots, the margin and apical area white. Petals spreading, with wavy margins, pale yellowish green with brownish purple veins. Lip yellowish green shaded with brown. Stami-node pubescent, with an orange-yellow tubercle in the center. Among the most important varieties are var. Harefield Hall and var. Sanderae. This species and some of its varieties should be in every hobbyist's collection, for its easy culture, free-blooming characteristics, and inexpensive cost make it satisfactory in so many respects. The flowers are sold on the cut-flower market, but do not have the fullness of its hybrid progeny. Blooms in the winter. Can be grown as a house plant, on the window sill.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum 'Candor Kaen', HCC/AOS. Grown by Bob & Lynn Wellenstein, photograph from the AOS archives

Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum: North Borneo. Discovered by F. W. Burbidge in 1878 while collecting for Messrs. Veitch, it was described that same year by Reichenbach in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE, being dedicated to Sir Trevor Lawrence, then President of the Royal Horticultural Society. The oval leaves, from six to nine inches long, are tessellated with yellow-green and deep grass-green. The scapes, about 15 inches or more high, bear one, sometimes two, large striking flowers. Dorsal sepal nearly orbicular, folded in the middle, white with broad longitudinal green to purple veins. Petals strap-shaped, ciliolate, with blackish warts on each margin, green with purplish tips. Lip large, dull purple tinged with brown above, green beneath. An albino form known as var. Hyeanum, with pure white dorsal sepal lined with bright green, the petals yellowish green with green veins, the lip bright green with deep green veining, is used in many modern hybrids. The species is a worthwhile addition to any collection. Blooms in April and May, or later.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum lowii 'Waunakee Warrior', AM/AOS. Grown by Chuck Acker, photograph copyright Milt Wittman

Paphiopedilum lowii: Borneo. Discovered by Sir Hugh Low in Sarawak '.'growing on high trees in thick jungle" in 1846, it was described by Lindley in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE in 1847. It is one of the few epiphytic Paphiopedilums, generally being found in the forks of tree branches, often at great height above the ground. In appearance it is similar to P. haynaldianum. Leaves strap-shaped, nine to fifteen inches long, leathery, grass green. Scapes often over three feet in length, bearing from three to five, sometimes more, large flowers. Dorsal sepal broadly oval, bent forward at the apex, the sides rolled back at the base, yellowish green, the basal area veined with brownish purple. Petals three inches long, twisted, deflexed, the narrower basal part yellow with scattered circular spots, the apical part light violet purple. Lip brown, paler beneath, the infolded lobes yellow. Blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum niveum 'Catatonk', HCC/AOS. Grown by Bob & Lynn Wellenstein, photograph from the AOS archives

Paphiopedilum niveum: Malay archipelago. Said to have been discovered by a Mr. d'Almeida, it was first imported by Veitch and Sons in a shipment of plants from Moulmein supposedly being P. concolor. When it flowered in 1869. it was described by Reichenbach in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE for that year, the specific name meaning "snowy" in reference to the pure white flowers. A dwarf species of compact habit, the leaves are four to six inches long, dark dull green above, somewhat marbled, deep purple beneath. Scapes up to eight inches high, one- to two-flowered. Flowers about three inches across, white, more or less dotted with purple toward the base of the sepals and petals. , Dorsal sepal orbicular, pointed, ciliolate. Petals spreading, slightly deflexed, broadly oval to nearly round, margins ciliolate. Lip ovoid, the orifice rolled inward. Staminode yellow bordered with white. Grown in a compost with limestone added, as with P. concolor and its allies, it is an attractive small plant of great delicacy and charm. Worth growing, along with the many hybrids derived from it, it blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum parishii 'Windy Hill', AM/AOS. Grown by Marilyn & Brian LeDoux, photograph copyright Craig J. Plahn, D.D.S.

Paphiopedilum parishii: Moulmein. Discovered in 1859 by Rev. C. Parish, on trees amidst the decaying roots of a common fern, it was not until 1866 that he was able to bring some plants to his garden where it flowered the following year. He made a drawing of the flower and sent it, along with the dried inflorescence with five flowers, to the Royal Gardens at Kew where it was named. Living plants were introduced by Messrs. Low and Co., in 1868, and Reichenbach described the species in FLORA in 1869. Belonging to the strap-leaved section with green leaves and a many-flowered inflorescence with long petals, this species approaches the South American Phragmipediums in general appearance. The flowers are three inches across, up to seven on a scape, the dorsal sepal yellow with green veins. The twisted petals, up to five inches long, narrow and pendulous, are green with wavy margins in the basal half, the apical portion blackish purple with paler margin. The lip is deep green, stained with brown-purple. A fine species, not commonly seen, blooming in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum philippinense 'Joan', HCC/AOS. Grown by Howard Gunn, photograph copyright Ramon de los Santoa

Paphiopedilum philippinense: The Philippines. Described by Reichenbach in Bonplandia in 1862 from a dried specimen, it was introduced into cultivation as Cypripedium laevigatum after being discovered by Mr. John Gould Veitch who went to the Philippines to search for Vandopsis lissochiloides and finally secured some plants with this Paphiopedilum growing on its roots. Despite its green leaves it is a warm-growing species, along with the other species in its alliance, and is often found in close association with Vandopsis lissochiloides. The scape bears from three to five flowers. Dorsal sepal white with purple-brown stripes, broadly ovate and pointed. Petals pendulous, up to six inches long, twisted and fringed with black hairs, yellowish at the base which has warts on both margins, changing to purple for most of their length, then pale green at tips. Lip buff-yellow veined with brown. A colorful and odd species, readily grown in warm conditions, blooming in late spring and summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum rothschildianum 'Deane', AM/AOS. Grown by Peter Wiggin, photograph copyright Glen Barfield

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum: New Guinea. Introduced in May, 1887. by Mr. J. Linden who flowered it in January of 1888, it was named Cypripedium neoguineense, but before it was so published an introduction of the same species by Messrs. Sander and Co., was described by Reichenbach in Gardeners' Chronicle for 1887, named in honor of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, one of the most munificent patrons of horticulture of the time. the glossy green leaves are more than two feet long, the tall strong scape upright, with three to five flowers. The flowers are large, bold and striking in form and coloring. The dorsal sepal is yellowish with dark, almost black lines, the margin white. The long petals widespread, wavy at the base, yellowish green with dark longitudinal lines and blotches. Lip jutting forward from a long claw, cinnamon colored with yellowish border at aperture. This distinctive species is a feature of any collection containing it, the robust plant, the big flowers commanding the attention of any visitor. Doing best in warm conditions, it flowers in the summer or at various seasons.

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum sanderianum 'Jordyn Bryn', HCC/AOS. Grown by John Doherty, photograph copyright Jay Norris

Paphiopedilum sanderianum: Malaya. Discovered by Forstermann in 1885, it was introduced by Messrs. Sander and Co., and described by Reichenbach in the Gardeners' Chronicle in 1886. This species is remarkably similar to the phragmipediums of South America. The strap-shaped leaves are about a foot long, dark green, narrow, surrounding the one- to two-foot scapes which bear from three to five large flowers. The dorsal sepal pale yellow shaded with green with broad longitudinal brown stripes, the margin ciliolate. Petals narrow, ribbon-like, twisted, 18 to 25 inches in length, pale yellow with brown-purple border at base, then purple spotted, changing to solid dull purple. Prominent lip jutting forward, brownish purple, pale yellow beneath. Rare in cultivation, blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum spicerianum 'St. Albans', AM/AOS. Grown by William Scharf, photograph copyright James Osen

Paphiopedilum spicerianum: Assam. First flowered by Mr. Herert Spicer who received a plant among a mixed collection from Indiga, exact source unknown, it was described by Reichenbach in the Gardeners' Chronicle for 1880. Subsequent collections were made in Assam. A distinctive species, with dark green leaves, about nine inches long, spotted with purple on the under side. scapes slender, erect, up to a foot long, one-flowered, rarely two-flowered. Flowers medium sized, dorsal sepal pure white with green at base, folded at middle with crimson-purple band at fold, the lateral margins reflexed at the base, the apex bent forward. The petals are strap-like, deflexed and curved forward, very wavy at the margins, yellowish green spotted with dull red and with a reddish crimson mid-line. Lip somewhat bell-shaped, brown overlaid with crimson. A somewhat variable species, it is quite distinctive, particularly its dorsal sepal and its petals. This has been one of the most frequently used species in modern hybrids, along with P. insigne, P. villosum, and P. bellatulum. One of the so-called cool species, it flowers in November and December.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum stonei 'Giant', AM/AOS. Grown by Marriott Orchids, photograph copyright James Harris

Paphiopedilum stonei: Borneo. Discovered by Sir Hugh Low who sent plants to Messrs. Low and Co. in 1860, it flowered for the first time in Europe in 1861 in the garden of Mr. John Day and was named for his gardener, Mr. Stone. Hooker illustrated and described it in 1862 in the Botanical Magazine. The strap-shaped leaves are very leathery, grass green, up to fifteen inches long. The dull greenish purple scapes are nearly two feet in length, bearing three to five flowers. Dorsal sepal heart-shaped, pointed, white with several blackish crimson longitudinal streaks. Petals up to six inches long, pendent, twisted, sparsely ciliated on the margins, pale tawny yellow spotted with brownish crimson, the apical third dull brownish crimson. Lip prominent, jutting forward, dull rose color, veined and netted with crimson. A variety with broader petals was introduced in 1863, but both the species and the variety platyphyllum (editor's note:  now considered a species in its own right - Paph. platyphyllum)are rare in collections. blooms from May to July.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum superbiens 'Massive', AM/AOS. Grown by Orchids Limited, photograph copyright Rhonda Peters

Paphiopedilum superbiens: Malay Peninsula. The origin of this species is somewhat obscure, the first source being a single plant received by Consul Schiller of Hamburg in 1855, having been introduced by Messrs. Rollisson from, it was said, either Java or from Assam. In 1857 a second plant appeared among an importation of P. barbatum collected in 1857 by Thomas Lobb on Mount Ophir, in Malaya. for many years all plants in european collections sprang from divisions of these two plants. described in Bonplandia, 1855, by Reichenbach. Leaves elliptic, five to seven inches long, yellowish green tessellated with deep green, with single-flowered scapes up to one foot high. Flower with all segments ciliolate, dorsal sepal broadly ovate, pointed, white with symmetrical green stripes. Petals strap-shaped, deflexed, white veined with green and spotted with black warts. Lip large, brownish purple fading to pale green beneath, the infolded lobes stained with crimson and spotted with dark warts. Closely allied to P. ciliolare and P. curtisii (now considered a synonym), it is not common in cultivation. Blooms from May to July, occasionally later.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum tonsum 'Windy Hill', AM/AOS. Grown by Marilyn and Brian LeDoux, photograph copyright Craig J. Plahn, DDS

Paphiopedilum tonsum: Sumatra. Collected by Curtis, unknowingly at the time, with a group of P. curtisii, in 1882 or 1883, it bloomed at the establishment of Messrs. Veitch, to be described by Reichenbach in Gardeners' Chronicle in 1883.  The specific name tonsum means "shorn" and refers to the absence of black hairs that fringe the margin of the petals in the species allied to this one. The tessellated leaves are from five to seven inches long, spotted with purple beneath, the erect scapes about a foot or more high, greenish purple, bearing a single flower. Flowers large and glossy, the dorsal sepal broadly heart shaped, folded at the mid-vein, ciliolate at the margins, white striped longitudinally with green or purplish green. Petals spreading, relatively broad, pale green with deep green veining sometimes stained with purple, the mid-vein and upper margin dotted with a few blackish warts, and very few hairs on the margin. Lip prominent, dull green tinged with brown-crimson, the infolded lobes broad and spotted with warts. This species is not spectacular but its neat, shining flowers are quite attractive. A nice plant for the beginner, it blooms in the fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum venustum 'Sir Liam', CCM/AOS. Grown by James and Kris Foster, photograph copyright Eric Hunt

Paphiopedilum venustum: northeast india. This, the first of the leathery-leaved Asiatic "Cypripediums" known to western science, was discovered by Dr. Wallich in Sylhet, early in the nineteenth century. It was introduced into European cultivation from the Botanic Garden at Calcutta by Messrs. Whitley, Brames and Milne, with whom it flowered in November, 1819, it being figured in the BOTANICAL MAGAZINE in 1820. The leaves are marbled and blotched with gray-green over the deep green ground, mottled with dull purple beneath, about four to six inches long. The erect scapes are from six to nine inches or more in height, usually one- (rarely two-) flowered. Flowers of medium size, dorsal sepal broadly heart shaped, white with dark green veins. Petals spreading, margins ciliate, basal part green with blackish warts, the apical portion dull brownish purple. Lip pale yellow-green flushed with rose, veined and netted with green, the infolded lobes ochre yellow. A variety pardinum is larger and more brightly colored. Blooms late winter to spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum villosum 'Ernie's Pride', CCM/AOS. Grown by Ernestine Tocheniuk, photograph copyright Alexey Tretyakov

Paphiopedilum villosum: Burma. First discovered in the mountains near Moulmein, at 4,000-5,000 feet elevation, by Thomas Lobb and introduced by Messrs. Yeitch in 1853, it was described by Lindley in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE in 1854. Since then it has been widely collected throughout Burma and in northern Indo-China. It is a variable species, the most outstanding variety being var. boxallii which was introduced by Messrs. Low and Co. in 1877 when it was collected by Boxall in the Tongu district, Reichenbach originally describing the form as a new species. The strap-shaped leaves are from ten to eighteen inches in length, a uniform grass green above, paler beneath and spotted with purple toward the base. Scapes hairy, nearly as long as the leaves, one-flowered. Flowers very large, among the largest of the genus, very glossy and varnished, the dorsal sepal broadly oval with the margins turned back at the base, brownish purple below, the upper part green fading to a white margin. Petals paddle-shaped, ciliolate, with hairs on the basal portion, somewhat wavy and bent forward, the upper half being a rich yellow brown, the lower half pale brownish yellow, the mid-vein brownish purple. Lip prominent, brownish yellow to yellow-brown with ochre-yellow margin at aperture, infolded lobes a dull yellow. This species is one of the chief parents in Paphiopedilum hybrids, the character of the petals being passed on to many of its progeny. Recent cytogenetic work by Duncan and MacLeod lend weight to the separation of the variety boxallii as a species. The blooming season is broad, from December through March.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paphiopedilum wardii 'Julianne Kepley', AM/AOS. Grown by Jack & Margie Kepley, photograph copyright James Harris

Recent species. The Paphiopedilums have seldom been collected in great numbers, many of the introductions being limited to a few plants which, through careful propagation, have become widespread in cultivation. The areas from which Paphiopedilums come have not been intensively searched in all instances and the possibility of new forms coming to light is reasonably strong. Among the last species to be introduced was Paphiopedilum wardii, collected by Capt. F. Kingdon Ward in northern Burma in 1922, although it was not until 1931 that plants were successfully introduced into England. It was described by Summerhayes in GARDENERS' CHRONICLE for December 17, 1932. Possibly the very latest is P. wilhelminiae, collected by Mr. L. J. Brass in Dutch New Guinea in December. 1938, while on the third Richard Archbold expedition. It is of interest that the species was described by Dr. Louis 0. Williams in the AMERICAN ORCHID SOCIETY BULLETIN in May, 1942, from herbarium material from the Archbold Expedition. There have been rumors of a Paphiopedilum from the northern areas of Australia, but to date no definite collections have been known.