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Excerpts from

VOLUME 79, NO. 2—April, May, June 2015


The First World Slipper Orchid Conference
Phyllis S. Prestia
6 page, 13 photos

Paph. Imelda Bobadilla x Icy Icy Wind

Hilo bay from the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
©Steve Hampson

The Orchid Digest together with the Orchid Growers of Hawaii (OGOH) and the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development sponsored and organized the First World Slipper Orchid Conference in Hilo, Hawai’i on January 17th and 18th, 2015. This was also the 59th Paphiopedilum Guild meeting. The conference attracted 105 registrants from seven different countries. There were slipper enthusiasts from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States and even some local Hawaiians attended.

There had always been rumors that one could not grow slippers in Hawai’i. That disinformation was quickly dispelled. Even the “experts,” when visiting a number of orchid nurseries growing paphs, were blown away by the excellence of culture.

Two days of outstanding talks were presented by an international panel of lecturers, but there was also much opportunity for social interactions, for making new friends and acquaintances, and of course for the opportunity to purchase new and desirable acquisitions. The latest new hybrids and developments were on sale from some of the world’s best hybridists.

The conference was such a success that the organizers are now discussing organizing and promoting a second world slipper conference in Hilo again in three years time. Several prominent international leaders in the field have already promised to attend the next world conference. The conference even turned a modest profit that can be used for advertising future Paphiopedilum Guild activities.

Our thanks and gratitude goes to the organizers who put a great deal of effort into the conference. Karen Muir from the Orchid Digest was the lead organizer and micromanager working for many months to ensure the conference’s success. She was supported by Steve Gollis, also from the Digest. Graham Wood (Lehua Orchids) and James Fang (Hilo Orchid Farm) represented the orchid growers on the committee, and Judge Sandra Song was instrumental in writing the successful grant proposal to the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development.

We asked Phyllis Prestia, an AOS student judge, to keep a diary of her travels and attendance at the conference as a novel way of sharing her experiences with those readers who were unfortunate enough not to be able to attend. Here it is—editor.


Chinese Paphiopedilum Species and Their Hybrids
Part 3: Paphiopedilum malipoense

Olaf Gruss (Translated by Daniel Geiger)
20 pages, 74 photos

Paphiopedilum malipoense
©Olaf Gruss

K. M. Feng collected a plant of this species in Hwang Jin In on November 11, 1947, and prepared a herbarium voucher.

Professors Chen Sing Chi and Tsi Zhan-Huo described Paphiopedilum malipoense based on that herbarium material in Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica in 1984. The Chinese name for this species is Malipo “Dou Lan” and refers to the locality Malipo, where this species occurs
endemically and to the shape of the lip. The flower is said to smell of raspberries in the morning hours.

In the abstract on page 124 the authors wrote:

Abstract: Paphiopedilum malipoense S.C. Chen
et Tsi is a very interesting new species with
its flower similar to that of Cypripedium, especially section Cypripedium. It belongs to subgenus Brachypetalum, the most primitive group of Paphiopedilum, but differs from its allied
species in having an elliptic-lanceolate sepal
wih cupidately acuminate apex, rather narrow
petals and horizontal lip, which are common
occurrence in many cypripediums, but very
rare in paphiopedilums. Apparently, this is an
intermediate form, or a link, between Paphiopedilum and Cypripedium, but it does not seem to arise from hybridization between them,
because no Cypripedium has been found wherever Paphiopedilum occurs.

The new species is distributed in southeastern
Yunnan of China. In this area, as well as in
river valleys of western Yunnan or the Hengduan
Mountains, there have been four species
of the same genus previously reported. As we
know, the Hengduan Mountains and their adjacent areas are rich in Cypripedium. The differentiation of the genus there is remarkable. All five sections that it contains occur there and
three of them are quite distinctive....

Oberonia - Magnificence in Miniature
Jim Cootes and George Tiong
11 pages, 21 images

Oberonia merrillii in situ
Oberonia merrillii in situ
©Ravan Schneider

One would surely doubt that when William Shakespeare wrote his epic tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he would ever have imagined that one of the main characters in the play, Oberon, King of the Fairies, would end up being named as an orchid genus.

John Lindley proposed the genus Oberonia in 1830, on account of the miniature but fanciful flowers and their arrangement on the inflorescence, in his Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants. The type species for the genus is Oberonia mucronata (formerly Oberonia iridifolia, now an illegitimate name). It should also be noted that, in 1809, the French botanist Louis-Marie Aubert du Petit Thouars proposed a genus Iridorkis, for exactly the same plants, although his specimens were in all probability from either Africa or Madagascar. However, for some unknown reason, the International Committee of Botanical Nomenclature chose to maintain Lindley’s generic name in preference to the earlier, validly-published name of Thouars...

Vanda section Dactylolobatae:
A Summary, Two New Species, and a Key to Identification
Martin Motes, Lauren M. Gardiner, and David L. Roberts
7 pages, 13 photos

Lycaste campbellii ‘Minnehaha’ flowering profusely.
Vanda celebica
©Greg Allikas

The species of Vanda belonging to the section Dactylolobatae W. Suarez & J. Cootes (Suarez & Cootes 2007) have long caused confusion to both taxonomists and horticulturalists. The section is geographically widespread, ranging from Kalimantan in Borneo, through the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos, and south to New Guinea. One species, Vanda scandens Holttum is so distinct vegetatively that one would be hard put to confuse it with any other species (although it has been!). The remaining six species, Vanda celebica Rolfe, Vanda frankieana Metusala & P. O’Byrne, Vanda gibbsiae Rolfe, Vanda hastifera Rchb. f., Vanda lindenii Rchb. f., Vanda saxatilis J. J. Sm. and two new species, are so superficially similar that they have been repeatedly confused. Here we seek to define the differences between these distinct and geographically isolated species and provide a key to their identification. The two undescribed species are also described here....


Paphiopedilum robinsonianum,
a New Species from Sulawesi Recently Described
William Cavestro
In collaboration with Nicolas Bougourd, Alastair Robinson, and Paul Ormerod
3 pages, 5 photos, 1 drawing

Five siblings of Paph. John Yates

Paphiopedilum robinsonianum in situ
© Ch’ien C. Lee

This article follows the recent publication of a new species from Sulawesi (Cavestro et al., 2014) named Paphiopedilum robinsonianum. Fourteen years ago, I described Paph. intaniae, a remarkable species from Mount Morowali in central Sulawesi. Paphiopedilum robinsonianum increases the number of species from Sulawesi known for the high endemism of its fauna and flora.

The discovery of this species occurred during a botanical expedition in July-August, 2013, in central Sulawesi. This expedition was under the responsibility of Alastair Robinson, a carnivorous plants specialist known for having discovered and described many species like Nepenthes attenboroughii A. S. Rob., S. McPherson & V. B. Heinrich, one of the largest nepenthes.

This mission in central Sulawesi focused on the observation of carnivorous plants and especially nepenthes in their habitat. In this ecological environment, the team observed a very particular green mottled leaved paphiopedilum. The inflorescence of this Paphiopedilum is one-flowered, the lateral lobes of the lip are incurved and warty. These characteristics can be referred to the species of the Barbata section (Kraenzlin ) V. A. Albert & Börge Pett. according to the infrageneric classification proposed by Atwood (1984), Cribb (1998) and Pridgeon et al. (1999). A well-known grower of orchids, Nicolas Bougourd (a good friend of Alastair Robinson) and I were intrigued by the remarkable characteristics of this unknown paphiopedilum. Looking closely at the flower, we were surprised by the form and characteristics of the twisted and ciliated petals and the transversely elliptic staminode. The staminode of most species in the Barbata section is lunate with a three-toothed apex, rarely circular, semi-circular or reniform (Paph. hookerae, Paph. sangii, Paph. violascens, and Paph. tonsum)...