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Swiss Orchid Foundation
at the Herbarium Jany Renz

Botanical Institute
University of Basel

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CH-4059 Basel

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Botanical Institute
University of Basel

Genus descriptions

 

Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall. ex Lindl.) Pfitzer
© P. J. Cribb

This plant in BibliOrchidea
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Cypripedieae
Subtribe: Paphiopedilinae
Synonyms: Cordula Raf., Menephora Raf., Stimegas Raf.
Description: The Southeast Asian Lady's slipper orchids are terrestrial or occasionally epiphytic herbs with fleshy, horizontally growing roots, and a short, hairy stem with green or tessellated leaves that are arranged oppositely. The inflorescence is erect or somewhat pendent with one or several showy flowers. The dorsal sepal is erect or hooded over; the lateral sepals form a synsepal. The petals grow horizontally of slightly downwards; the lip is pouch- of shoe-shaped with inrolled margins. The short column has two lateral fertile anthers, a fleshy apical staminode, and two pollinia. The stalked, convex, disc-like stigma is trisulcate and lies behind and below the staminode. The ovary is uniloculate.
Typus: Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall. ex Lindl.) Pfitzer
Distribution: India, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Southwest China, Indonesia, New Guinea und the Philippines.
Species: ca. 75
Etymology: Referring to the Paphos (temple of Aphrodite) on Cyprus. Paphia is also a surname of the goddess Aphrodite; gr.: pedilon = shoe
Culture: Paphiopedilum can be divided into two group regarding their culture needs: The one group around P. insigne needs cooler conditions with a temperature range from 10 to 15 °C whereas the group of P. collosum demands a warmer surrounding of 4 to 5 °C less. Mottled leaves can give a hint that the species is to be cultivated intermediately to warmly. All paphiopedila require humid conditions as they miss a water storage (bulb), a bright light (no direct sun) and a good air circulation.
Notes: The genus differs from the closely related genera Phragmipedium and Selenipedium in the ovary being unilocular, whereas the other genera have trilocular ovaries.

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