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Excerpts from
VOLUME 75, NO. 3—July, August, September 2011
Celebrating 75 years!

Cypripedium Hybridization The First Twenty-Five Years
Ron Burch
20 pages, 40 photos

C. Ingrid (parviflorum x cordigerum)
©RM Burch

    Cypripedium is a genus of northern temperate terrestrial lady slipper’s orchids that offer northern gardeners the opportunity to incorporate orchids with large, showy flowers into their gardens, and that all orchidists may enjoy in pots. Cypripedium is composed of about 46 species divided into 11 sections. In addition, for registration purposes, the RHS recognizes four named varieties of C. parviflorum, and in the past recognized five varieties of C. macranthos (all varieties of macranthos have been subsumed as synonyms by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families). Of the 46 species in the genus, only about 20 are reasonably available in Europe and fewer in the United States and some of these have proven difficult to maintain in cultivation...

Introduction to the New Refugium Botanicum
Franco Pupulin
6 pages, 3 images

The “Refugium Botanicum,” edited by W. Wilson Saunder (1809-1879) and printed in London between 1869 and 1872, represents a classical example of the fine 19th-century books on plants. Its long title, Refugium Botanicum, or Figures and Descriptions from living Specimens, of little known or new Plants of Botanical Interest, already reflects the editor’s intent to present his readers interesting plants of botanical merit, studied and illustrated by the best specialists from actual, living specimens, and accompanied by concise cultural notes. Saunder’s opus was a literary “botanical refuge” a kind of “romantic” repository of species that were seldom, if ever, shown to the public through plant magazines because of their rarity or being inconspicuous in general cultivation...

Benzingia reichenbachiana plate

Breeding with Recently Described Vietnamense Paphiopedilums
Olaf Gruss and Helmut Rohrl
14 pages, 63 photos

Paphiopedilum hangianum ‘Giant’
©Olaf Gruss

These lithophytic herbs occur in a very restricted area in the Bac Thai and Cao Bang provinces of Northern Vietnam and in Southern China. They grow in pockets of humus among mosses and ferns on steep, shady limestone cliffs covered by broad-leaved, evergreen forests at elevations between 800 and 1000 m (2600 and 3300 ft). The coriaceous, slightly undulate, obtuse to subacute leaves are glossy green above, and keeled and pale green below. The erect, up to 12 cm tall inflorescence bears one (and occasionally two) up to 14 cm wide, broadly ovate to obovate flowers that are usually intensely sweetly fragrant and large for the size of the plant...

Paphiopedilum Subgenus Megastaminodium
G. J. Braem & O. Gruss

Guido J. Braem & Olaf Gruss
2 pages, 4 photos

With the publication of Paphiopedilum canhii (Averyanov et al., 2010) a new problem in the systematics of the genus Paphiopedilum appeared. The newly found species does not fit in any of the hitherto described subgenera. For that reason, we create subgenus Megastaminodium to accommodate the new member of the genus.

Paphiopedilum canhii
different clones.
©C. X. Canh

Dracula Fuliginosa:
A New Yet Old Name for Dracula radiella

Lisa Thoerle
2 pages, 2 photos

The cupped flowers of Dracula fuliginosa have sepals nearly circular in shape and a lip with an epichile with smooth margins.
©Gary Meyer

There are many reasons why the names of orchids change. Sometimes it is because we have discovered new relationships and groups among them; sometimes it is because we find new representatives that make differences or similarities more evident; and sometimes it is because of the intricacies of theInternational Code of Botanical Nomenclature (the Code). This last reason is why a commonly cultivated dracula now has a different name. The name Dracula fuliginosa (Luer) Luer has been resurrected from synonymy and applied to the orchid known until recently as Dracula radiella Luer. Why? Because the Code demands it...