2. Section Paphiopedilum
This largely encompasses the Section Neuropetalum (Hallier) of Pfitzer, that name derived from the Greek 'neuron', meaning 'nerved', in relation to the distinctive nerved pattern of veins on the petals. (91) Asher (7) also notes the petals of the flowers from the plants of this section show branching patterned veins, and the petals are dilated at their ends. The leaves are green. strap like, and unvariegated.
Cribb 105 places these plants in his Subgenus Paphiopedilum Section Paphiopedilum
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First discovered by De Wildeman in 1906, this August to September flowering species requires cool to intermediate conditions for growth. Native of North Laos, it is a medium sized plant. Birk notes it grows and blooms well, appreciating frequent watering during the growing season, and high humidity all the year. Best f lower colouration is preserved when they are shaded. (3)
Schaffer (7) notes this is an old and rare species with no primary hybrids registered to 1976.
Growing in China it is in habitats exposed to high winds, monsoons and heavy rainfall. Cloud cover is heavy. 116
Like the previous species, this is similar to P. villosum, and is treated as a synonym of P. villosum in the Handbook of Orchid Nomenclature and Registration (27) although both names are accepted for registration purposes. It is cool growing (10). Native of the Lake Inle area of Burma, its natural habitat is high up on dolomite cliff faces, exposed to bright light, but not in direct sun. It prefers wetter places near streams, with its roots buried in mosses and in water seepages. It is found at an elevation of 1100 to 1200 metres, in an area were diurnal winter temperatures range from 17 to 4 degrees celsius and summers from 31 to 17 degrees celsius.
Cool winter temperatures can be given, but it likes to be warm and humid during the summer. Flowering takes place during July to September, and it needs a cool dry rest in June. An easy species to grow under most conditions, it appreciates bright light, although flower colour is retained where some shade is provided. (3)
26 primaries have been registered with this species to 1976, attracting 6 old awards. (9)
This distinctive attractive species grows some 250 mm tall. The glossy plain green leaves, purple mottled at their base and underneath, are 250 mm long and 25 mm wide. Flowers are borne on a 150 mm peduncle. The dorsal sepal is white, veined pink to carmine purple. The petals and lip are chestnut-brown. It -rows on isolated peaks through Burma and East Assam of India.
It was discovered by R. Moore in 1893 in Burma, and introduced into European cultivation the same year. It was named after J. Charlesworth of Keaton, Bradford, England, who first flowered it in the British Isles. (8) It is native of the Shan States of Burma, found over a very restricted range on limestone hills at some 1200 to 1600 metres above sea level. 105
Growing in rock crevices and solution pits high up on limestone hills, in bright reflected light, it occurs at some 1500 metres altitude. Autumn flowering, needs a rest during June and July (southern Hemisphere equivalent months). It may take more than a year to mature the new growths, flowering the following year. It is an easy species to grow and flower, but needs an 8 to 10 degrees celsius fall in winter night temperatures from that experienced during the summer for proper flower bud initiation. Flowers last a long time in perfection, their life, however, being extended by shading.
Its natural habitat is subject to the monsoons. Irregular rain falls from mid March to October (southern Hemisphere equivalent months), the period of the winter monsoon, when there are fogs and drizzle, high humidity and cloudy conditions. From November to April there are heavy rains experienced. Temperatures range in winter from 17 to 4.5 degrees celsius, summers 30.5 to 17 degrees celsius. (3)
Schaffer notes (9) 25 primaries have been registered to 1976, and although they have been known for many years, only three have been awarded, 2 'recently'.
This species grows up to 400 mm high, with leaves 200 to 330 mm long 20 to 40 mm broad. The 300 mm tall flower scape bears a single flower. The flowers are 60 to 80 mm broad, the dorsal sepal yellow- green with several brown spots towards the base, and bears a white margin. The synsepalum is pale green. The petals are yellow with purple longitudinal streaks down the middle. The lip is a shiny ochre yellow. (8) Native of Thailand, it was first reported by H. Ridley in 1891 as P. insigne var exul but was, raised to specific rank later that year. It was introduced into European cultivation in 1891. It is closely related to P. insigne, but that species has more prostrate leaves and a more heavily spotted dorsal sepal. (8) There is still some debate as to whether it should be considered just as a variety of P. insigne. It is native of peninsula Thailand on both the western and eastern coasts, growing at around some 50 metres altitude. 105
This species flowers in October to December (Southern Hemisphere equivalent months) after a June or July rest. It needs very bright light and high humidity to flower well. It multiplies rapidly and blooms mature growths after the second or third year. It does not appreciate repotting too frequently, and this procedure should always be completed with care. (3)
The plain leaved paphiopedilums are generally considered 'cool' growing, but this species is one exception to this rule. It grows on islands in similar habitats to Paphiopedilum leucochilum, which are composed of ancient weathered fossiliferous limestone. These islands have tall vertical cliffs, covered in thick jungle. Fowlie (26) reports this species favours positions in full sun, 6 to 35 metres above sea level. It often grows in large clumps, on the rocks in mats of decaying humus. In this area temperatures during July and August rarely fall below 21 to 22 degrees celsius which are the coldest months. They rarely rise above 34 to 35 degrees celsius during the hottest months of September or October, when skies are bright and sunny, and when only 25 mm (one inch) of rainfall occurs each month. Plants rest during July to September, before f lowering November to December. The main monsoon rainfall occurs during February to April, with some 800 mm (20 inches) of rain falling in March. Humidity is high, rarely falling below 85% during any time of the year.
15 primaries have been registered to 1976, but only 2 crosses have been awarded to that date, one 'recently'. (9)
Introduced into European cultivation by Guillaumin in 1905, this species from Laos flowers in September and October after a rest period in June when temperatures are lowered by 4.5 to 7 degrees celsius for a period of 4 to 6 weeks, and water is withheld. This easily grown species appreciates intermediate temperatures. It needs warmth and moisture during the period of vegetative growth during the summer. The mix must be free draining but moisture retentive and therefore some moss in the potting mixes beneficial. It produces numerous growths each year which flower when they mature, often in two but usually in three years after they are initiated.
Bottom: Grower/photo Merv. Dougherty
This plant is closely related to P. villosum and P. insigne. It grows as a terrestrial in Laos and possibly Vietnam. 105
This species is perhaps the one most widely grown, especially by beginners. A terrestrial plant, it grows 300 to 500 mm tall. Its strap shaped leaves are 200 to 00 mm long and 25 mm broad. The inflorescence is up to 300 mm long, one or occasionally two flowered, each f lower with a glossy appearance, 100 to 125 mm tall. The dorsal sepal is green, marked with large brown spots, the margin white. The synsepalum is pale green, lightly spotted dark brown on its basal half. The petals are yellowish green, veined pale brown. The lip is golden brown, veined darker brown, the side lobes a deep yellow-brown with paler margins. Cribb 105 notes it is a variable species, especially its flower colouration and size.
Native of Assam India and Nepal (8) it grows at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 metres on dolomite limestone rocks in scrubby vegetation near waterfalls. (25)
P. insigne was discovered by Dr Wallich in the Sylhet District of North East India, during the second decade of the 18th. century. It was sent by him to England about 1819 - 20, flowering for the first time in Europe in 1820 in the Liverpool Botanical Garden. It was subsequently discovered by Griffith on the Khasia Hills. This was the second paphiopedilum brought into European culture, and it was some 20 years before another species was introduced. Cribb notes it occurs over a limited distribution at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 metres altitude. 105
At one time, up to 40 varieties of Paphiopedilum insigne were known, although only some 25% of these were genuinely distinct, from the type. Three are still being cultivated. Paphiopedilum insigne var Harefield Hall, is a very large flowered variety and is a triploid. Var. Maulei was first imported by Messrs. Maule and Sons, Bristol around 1856-57, flowering for the first time in 1860. This variety has larger flowers, with the dorsal sepal more arching. The petals are more undulated and paler in colour. (4) Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae is one of the most distinct and beautiful of all the P. insigne forms ever discovered. It is an albino, lacking the usual brown pigmentation of the typical form, the whole being yellowish-green with a white margin to the dorsal sepal. Originally it represented a single plant acquired by Baron Schroeder in England.(4)
Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae
It is April May flowering (southern Hemisphere equivalent months), needing a dry cool rest in June and 3uly with a night temperature of 4.5 to 7 degrees celsius for successful bud initiation. P. insigne commences growth in the spring, but does not flower until the autumn, differing from the other species from the same habitat which in the main are spring flowering. Its natural habitat is exposed to the wet summer monsoon, and the dry winter monsoon. From late November to March or April heavy rain falls, frequently for days at a time, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 20 degrees celsius. December and January are the wettest months. From late April the dry cooler winter monsoon starts, when there are only occasional convectional showers. June and July are cool, with a temperature range of 19 degrees celsius during the day, and 4.5 degrees celsius at night. Humidity remains high. September is warmer, and October is the hottest month. (3)
Paphiopedilum insigne has been widely used in hybridising. The two paphiopedilums first known - P. insigne and P. venustum were hybridised in 1873 by Lady Ashburton, the cross named P. Crossianum, after Cross, her gardener. P. insigne became one of the most important parents, and was crossed with the dwarf white species such as P. bellatulum and P. concolor to form the basis of the modern day, well rounded, hybrids. This species, and many of the early hybrids, were used extensively in the cut flower trade in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. (28)
32 primaries have been registered to 1976, including the first awarded a paphiopedilum (with an FCC/RHS in 1860). 12 old but no 'recent' awards have been given. (9)
Pradhan describes a number of natural hybrids found in India involving this species, especially the natural hybrid Paphiopedlium x venust.-insigne, the artificial cross of which is registered as Paphiopedilum Crossianum. (29)
Another very important striking and popular species. Paphiopedilum villosum grows as an epiphyte, reaching 300 mm high. Its leaves, dark green in colour, purple spotted underneath at their bases, are 250 to 400 mm long, 40 mm wide. The inflorescence, up to 150 mm tall, bears a glossy flower, showing a bright green dorsal sepal which has deep purple-brown shading over its basal two thirds, and a white margin. The synsepalum is pale yellow green. The petals are yellow- brown in front with a darker purple centre line, paler brown behind. The lip is pale golden-brown with a darker central line in front.(8) It is naturally a widespread and variable species. 105
The species was first discovered by Thomas Lobb on the mountains near Mulmein, Burma in 1853, being formally described the following year. (4) The name refers to the shaggy hairiness of the peduncle, ovary and bract. (8) It grows naturally as an epiphyte in the forks of tall trees, with its roots tightly attached to the trunks, in matted ferns and mosses. It grows in large clumps, and is always dripping wet. It is found between 1200 to 1500 metres above sea level. July to September flowering (Southern Hemisphere equivalent months), and occasionally again in April and May, it needs good light and appreciates a rest in July. In its natural habitat, it experiences heavy continuous rains from December to April. During this period temperatures reach 33 degrees celsius during the day, and do not fall below 18 degrees celsius at night. From April the north east monsoon brings cooler winds and less rainfall. In May it is considerably cooler, with June and July temperatures averaging 20 degrees celsius during the day, and 7 degrees celsius at night. There are few showers, but continuous cloud cover with dews, fogs, etc. Humidity always remains high. September and October become warmer, and rains increase gradually up to the commencement of the summer monsoon which arrives in December.
It grows well, appreciating moss in the mix, and copious water, especially when in active growth. It needs good air movement. Fertilise well when grown in good light. Flowers retain their colour best in cooler, shadier conditions. (3)
This species is found in the ancestry of many modern day hybrids. 33 primaries have been registered to 1976, 7 of which have received old awards. (9)
Found also in southern Yunnan in Chine, it grows in tree trunk crotches with bright light and foots imbedded in matted ferns and mosses. 116
This was a .new. species described initially in Schlecheriana in 1987 110 and reprinted in the Orchid Digest with an illustration 111. It comes from the China Vietnamese border region, being named after its discoverer Mr Henry Azadehdel. It is a humus epiphyte with affinity to Paphilopedilum insigne and villosum. 111 Koopowitz confirms the species as being readily distinguished from other members of the P. insigne alliance by its distinctive colour pattern. 112 153
The description was based on a single specimen collected in China, and bears some resemblance to henryanum. Koopowitz 153 notes that it is very similar to P. henryanum var. christae and therefore may be submerged into that species once further information is available for study.
Koopowitz 153 notes the status of this plant is still uncertain, but he believes it is a good species. It was thought to be a natural mybrid between such species as henryanum, hirsutissimum or helenae, but artifical hybridising of those species produces plants unlke this, giving rise to doubt as to its status.
This group includes important, popular and easy grown species, many especially suited to new growers, or those with limited facilities. Most of these plain leaved species grow under cool conditions, or perhaps the lower end of the intermediate range of temperatures, and will flower well when the required winter rest conditions are provided.
Good luck and good growing.
Site established 9th May 1998
Paphiopedilum series first uploaded 8th December 1999