Saturday, December 17, 2011

Paphiopedilum Sanderianum

     Who can resist the allure of 3-foot long flower petals?  I first heard about this plant while searching for my den victoria reginae, and ordered it on impulse from the same vendor.  Adult specimens of this species are obscenely expensive, selling for hundreds of dollars.  So instead I purchased this juvenile plant which is supposed to reach flowering size in about 2 years.  Its current leaf span is 16 inches, and the paph sanderianum has proven right its reputation as an infamously slow grower.

     The plant arrived with one yellowing old leaf which promptly fell off, and a about an inch of a new leaf poking out of the crown.  Over the last 4 months, little has changed except for the very slow growth on the newest leaf.

Now about 4 inches long

     The pale green coloring at the base of the new leaf indicate that it is still growing, as it should be.  The older leaves are approximately 9 inches long and since this is a growing plant, the newer leaves should all be larger than their predecessors. 3 inches of total growth over the 4 months that I've owned this orchid make for a study in patience.  Compare this to my paph NOID, which has nearly doubled in size over a comparable time span.  Blooming this one is going to take a long while.

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