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Excerpts from

VOLUME 80, NO. 1—January, February, March 2016


Vandas are the New Black

Martin Motes
1 page, 3 photos

Vanda Motes Midnight

Vanda Motes Midnight
©Greg Allikas

Some mystical quality to black flowers sets them apart from normally colored blooms. Are they more beautiful? Perhaps. But certainly they are regarded as very special and for most people, the answer is a definite “Yes!”

Back in the early nineties, Martin Motes imported a community pot of Vanda tessellata seedlings from Thailand. One of these seedlings matured into an especially fine form that produced unusually dark flowers. It was almost but not quite black. The American Orchid Society took note of this clone and recognized it with a very high award. It was named Vanda tessellata “Mary Motes” FCC/AOS. It turned out to be an exceptional breeder as well...


Calling all Paphiophiles
Harold Koopowitz
2 pages, 6 photos

Paph. King Charles (King Charles × Ruby Voodoo)
Paph. King Charles (King Charles × Ruby Voodoo)
©Harold Koopowitz

Over the years I have been impressed with Paphiopedilum King Charles raised at the Orchid Zone Nursery. It is the grex from crossing Paph. Wawona Maiden by Paph. charlesworthii. Paphiopedilum Wawona Maiden is Paph. Hellas by Paph. charlesworthii. So there is a double dose of the species in its background with enough Paph. Hellas genes to yield quite large rounded flowers typically with stunning pink dorsal sepals. We are now starting to see some of the results of breeding with Paph. King Charles. I have used the more petite versions of Paph. King Charles to create miniature slipper hybrids. Some of the newer ones are Paph. Little King (King Charles × Little Stevie) and Paph. Charlie’s Boo Boo (King Charles × Baby Boo Boo). Several of the Paph. Little King clones have smooth pink in the dorsal sepals, a color that is hard to achieve in the insigne alliance. Usually even Paph. charlesworthii itself has some veining and blotching...

Marcel Lecoufle from Boissy Saint Leger Hybridizer Extraordinaire
Olaf Gruss
8 pages, 34 photos
Phal. Eglantine (Phébé × Hellé)
Phal. Eglantine (Phébé × Hellé)
©Marcel Lecoufle

Marcel Lecoufle was, for many years, present at every exhibition and show in Europe as well as around the world. He represented his orchid nursery and lectured about his beloved orchids from Madagascar. Visitors were especially enthusiastic about his lectures showing three-dimensional presentations of orchids and their habitats.

When visiting his nursery and home in Boissy St Leger in France one could not only admire his large orchid collections, in particular from the African continent, and others resulting from crosses of the genera Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis, but also his outstanding library. The collection contained all original volumes about 19th-century orchids. Hardly any other private library was filled with such treasures.

Marcel Lecoufle was born on October 24, 1913, into a well-to-do family in the orchid business. His grandfather, Henri Vacherot, founded an orchid nursery in 1886 in Boissy Saint Leger near Paris. In 1931, Lecoufle began his career at the orchid nursery of Vacherot & Lecoufle and, in 1938, became a partner. But in 1947, he separated and formed his nursery not far from the parent company, cultivating orchids, bromeliads, and also carnivorous plants. Thus, he can look back to more than 80 years of experience in the tropical plant families...

Paphiopedilum stonei f. luteo-album:
A Name for the Albino Variety
Harold Koopowitz and Olaf Gruss
2 pages, 5 photos

Single flower of Paphiopedilum stonei f. luteo-album
Single flower of Paphiopedilum stonei f. luteo-album
©John Doherty, Jr.

While the albino form of Paphiopedilum stonei, Paphiopedilum stonei f. alboflavum, has been known for many years (O. Gruss & Koop., Orchid Digest 72: 133 (2008), it has not received a formal name because a type specimen was never designated. Seedlings, presumably, from a selfing of the original plant have been dispersed and are now starting to flower. One plant recently came into bloom for John Doherty, Jr. at Zephyrus Orchids, Oldcastle, Ontario in Canada...


The Barnum and Bailey® Freak Show of Orchids
Carol Siegel
14 pages, 37 photos

Bulbophyllum medusae
Bulbophyllum medusae
©Eric Hunt

When most people wax poetic about orchids they are usually talking about cattleyas, big gorgeous orchids like Mrs. Eisenhower wore at the inauguration, that women would carry in their bridal bouquets, that boys would give to girls at the prom. They are unbelievably beautiful flowers; they come in lovely colors; they have a delectable shape and luscious fragrance. When people talk about orchids, they are usually talking about Miss America, the most beautiful of the beautiful. However, just as most of us don’t look like Miss America, most orchids don’t look like cattleyas. With more than 25,000 orchid species, there are a fair amount that look more like Miss Toxic Waste Dump. She is not too pretty; she looks like she is not too familiar with a toothbrush, and she has some pimply thing going on for her. There are a lot of orchids that are not beautiful but are bizarre and odd and sometimes repulsive. Today, I am going to present to you the Barnum and Bailey® Freak Show of Orchids, the fatties, the uglies, the stinkers, and the weirdoes. Although these orchids are not show-stoppers, they are often the most fascinating and interesting orchids in the world...


The Phragmipedium longifolium Complex
Prof. Dr. Guido J. Braem
8 pages, 3 illustrations, 10 photos

Hadrolaelia sincorana growing on Vellozia, under full sun light.
Phrag. longifolium fma. hartwegii (as Phrag. hartwegii) - plant collected in Panama in 1980s.
©Orchids Limited

One of the most magnificent plants of the genus Phragmipedium is, without any doubt, Phragmipedium longifolium. The species was originally described in 1852 as Cypripedium longifolium by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach1, generally known as the younger Reichenbach (Reichenbach fil.), the year he presented his doctoral thesis...


Ecuadorian Species Gallery
4 pages, 10 photos

Cyrtochilum macranthum
Cyrtochilum macranthum is a cold growing epiphyte found in montane forests from 2000-2400 meters (6562-7874 feet) and has the largest flower in the genus at more than 10 cm (4 inches).
©Pepe Portilla