Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Pandemonium of Paphiopedilums: Orchids of the DC Botanic Garden Continued

So many blooming paphiopedilum orchids on display
The DC Botanic Garden has some of the best displays of paphiopedilum orchids that I have ever seen in bloom!  So many species and hybrids, showcasing the amazing variety of blooms found in this genus.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

These were my 7 favorites from the display

The Paphiopedilum species:
7): Paphiopedilum primulinum
Paphiopedilum primulinum
Paphiopedilum primulinum is a modest bloom, but that adds to its charm.  One can easily miss these small yellow flowers, amidst a room of showy hybrid blooms.  But this orchid has a unique super power; known as the "ever-bloom" paph, its spikes can flower continuously for 3 years!

6) Paphiopedilum primulinum var purpurascens
Paphiopedilum primulinum var purpurascens
Paphiopedilum primulinum comes in various hues, and I loved this purple variety. There is something very fairy-tale charming about this orchid.

5) Paphiopedilum insigne
Paphiopedilum insigne
Paphiopedilum insigne is the "type species" for the entire Paphiopedilum genus, meaning that the Paphiopedilum genus description is based on this species.  That makes Paphiopedilum insigne the quintessential Paph!  No matter what genus reorganization the taxonomists might undertake in the future, Paph insigne will always remain Paph insigne.

4) Paphiopedilum gratrixianum
Paphiopedilum gratrixianum
Paphiopedilum gratrixianum orchids come in many shapes and colors. This particular flower was so similar to the above Paph insigne, that I had to triple check that I hadn't accidentally mislabeled my photos!

3) Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum
Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum

This orchid reminds me of Paphiopedilum primulinum, but its flowers are larger, and its colors are more intense. This is another ever-blooming orchid, which produces sequential blooms from its flower spike. One spike can produce flowers for 12-18 months, and the orchid will often start producing flowers from a new flower spike before the old one retires.

2) Paphiopedilum spicerianum
Paphiopedilum spicerianum
Paphiopedilum spicerianum has been bred into a multitude of Paphiopedilum hybrids.  In fact, almost 400 registered Paph hybrids list Paphiopedilum spicerianum as either a seed or pollen parent.

....and my absolute favorite Paphiopedilum species from the conservatory was:

1) Paphiopedilum richardianum
Paphiopedilum richardianum
I absolutely love how the petals of this flower blend from the gentlest of pastel tones into the high contrast purple edges.  The orchid flowers with multiple blooms on a tall spike--definitely an attention-grabbing species!

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