Asher (5) notes the species of this ,section have wavy petals which also show undulating margins, this feature leading to the Sectional name which from the Greek 'Kyma’ meaning ‘wave' (91)
This species was first discovered in 1951, being found in the Yunnan Province of China. It was found growing on rocks at some 700 metres altitude. In 1976 S.C. Chen considered it was only P. hirsutissimum, and Cribb and Tang (7) state that they see 'no reason to disagree with him'. Asher (5) and Birk (3) still include it as a separate species in their lists. Cribb 105 agrees, noting its smaller flowers its recognition as a variety is warranted.
Cribb 105 places these plants in his Subgenus Paphiopedilum Section Paphiopedilum
This species is another important one, being extensively used in hybridising, its genes found in many present day hybrids. It is an attractive relatively free growing species.
It is a distinctive terrestrial orchid, growing up to 200 mm tall. It produces leaves up to 220 mm long, 55 mm wide, but often narrower, which are dull green in colour, purple mottled underneath, with the central vein dull dark purple. The one or occasionally two flowered inflorescence is some 300 mm long, each flower being up to 90 mm high, 75 mm broad. It is very showy, the dorsal sepal white with a central purple stripe and a yellow green base. The synsepalum is pale green, faintly striped with purple. Petals are yellow-green, heavily mottled with dark purple and with a central purple stripe. The lip is a dull bronzy-green with yellow margins, its side lobes dull yellow with small purple spots. (8) Flower size is variable, but flower shape is uniform.105
It first became known to European growers in 1878, when it was flowered by Mr Robert Spicer of Godalming, Surrey UK, who had obtained it from a mixed collection of Indian orchids. The plant was subsequently purchased by Messrs Veitch and Sons Limited for 75 guineas. Shortly after other collectors found it growing in Assam India, (4) Sander’s collectors subsequently sending 40,000 plants tso be auctioned in the UK in 1884. 105
The plants were found growing in thick mosses and humus mats at the bases of trees, or on moss covered rocks and in water seepages, frequently shaded by ferns. It occurs at an altitude of 600 to 1350 metres. It is April to June flowering on mature growths, needing a cool dry winter rest in moderately bright conditions. It should never dry out, and appreciates high humidity. (8) It is cool growing.
In its native habitat the winter monsoon arrives in late March (Southern Hemisphere equivalent months), with heavy fogs and cool temperatures. June is the coldest month, with day temperatures of 18 degrees celsius, and 4.5 degrees celsius at night. September is warmer, with October the hottest month, day temperatures reaching 31 degrees celsius with nights remaining around 17 degrees celsius. In November the summer monsoon arrives with heavy rainfall. (3) It grows some 300 to 1300 metres above sea level on limestone cliffs and outcrops. 105
Pradhan (29) discusses a natural hybrid P. X spiceo-venusturn
Schaffer notes (9) 36 primaries have been registered with this species up to 1976, 16 of which have been awarded, although none of these are 'recent'.
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Site established 9th May 1998
Paphiopedilum series first uploaded 8th December 1999
Site established 9th May 1998