Best first parvis?

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Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2006
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Edmonton, AB, Canada
Hello all,

I am ready to buy my first parvi and am looking for some suggestions as to what some good choices are for first plants. I've heard Magic Lantern and delenatii are some of the easier ones to grow. Also, how does parvi culture differ from other paph culture? I currently grow complex, multiflorals, and Maudiae types, as well as insigne.

PS: I prefer parvis with pink and white (or red/purple, if there are any) in the flowers.

Thanks in advance,


Well, there are many easy Parvi. hybrids, I recommend P. Magic lantern, P. Armeni White, and P. Ho Chi Minh... as for species, P. delenatii is the easiest and most widely available species of the Parvisepalums...

P. vietnamense is also a fairly easy species to grow, but they are not yet widely available.

P. malipoense is quite challenging, unless you have it in proper conditions (I grow successfully in extreme heat, near full shade, and in a humus/charcoal/perlite medium... water heavily in summer, and lightly in winter).

Paph. micranthum is quite variable, they can tolerate heat and cold, bright and shady, wet and dry conditions (I grow this species best in a semi-lithophytic mix with granite, cocoanut husk, and some humus in about 50% shade... water heavily in summer, VERY lightly in winter...).

Paph. armeniacum is relatively easy if grown to the likes of the plant (I grow mine in 100% humus in near full shade with constant watering during summer, and expose it to more sun and less water during autumn until spring blooming).

I hope this kinda helps on understanding a little bit about the Paprvisepalums, they are all easy to grow, you just need proper conditions and a good medium. My primary medium of choice is humus; not only is it free, but it contains microbes that are very benificial to the Paphiopedilum plant. I have very good results with this "living dirt", as it works better then anything else I have tried. =)


(PS: Don't forget that P. emersonii and P. hangianum are not part of Section Parvisepalum anymore...)

Thanks so much to everyone for the info; I think I'm going to go nuts with the parvis. I think I'll get delenatii and Magic Lantern, and after I experiment with them I'll spread my wings a bit.

Mahon, I use humus for my cyps (and have lots) so I'll definately try that. Also, I had no idea emersonii and hangianum were moved from Parvisepalum - thanks for letting me know! Do you know what section they are in now?

Heather said:
I don't think I knew that either. Can you elaborate Pat?

Sure... Section Emersonianum was segregated from Section Parvisepalum... they are still closely realted to each other... =)

I forget why Leonid Averyanov segregated P. emersonii and P. hangianum from Section Parvisepalum... I think it had something to do with the incapability of producing stolonous growths, or mottled leaves... I don't remember... =(

Averyanov & Cribb in Slipper Orchids of Vietnam (2003) separates Subgenus Parvisepalum into two sections, Section Parvisepalum and Section Emersonianum. He's further differentiating the parvis within their group, not splitting the group up.

"From the allied section Parvisepalum this new section differs in always lacking stolons, having large uniformly green leaves, 20-35 cm long, a 1-flowered inflorescence, and has white or pale yellowish-green flowers and a lip which is distinctly smaller than the lateral petals. Two species distributed in southern China and northern Vietnam (Fig. 36)."

The only consistent characteristic mentioned is the leaves lacking mottling. The rest of the characteristics occur in some species of section Parvisepalum. P. vietnamense lacks stolons; P. armeniacum doesn't produce 2-flowered inflorescences (as far as I know); P. delenatii has a lip 'distinctly smaller than the lateral petals'; P. malipoense can have 20+ cm leaves. The use of flower color in this instance seems arbitrary and I don't think the sections are warranted. One could just as easily segregate the parvis based upon the staminode characteristics.

silence882 said:
Averyanov & Cribb in Slipper Orchids of Vietnam (2003) separates Subgenus Parvisepalum into two sections, Section Parvisepalum and Section Emersonianum. He's further differentiating the parvis within their group, not splitting the group up.


Okay. Busted.

I haven't actually *read* most of the books I own. See John? It's the pics for me too. ;)
Well, emersonii and hangianum are still parvi's, in the larger sense...just in a separate section from the others...which makes a lot of sense..(even Guido agreed with their separation...). Parvi hybrids can be grown in pretty much the same manner as most paphs...but keep in mind that while delanatii is by far the easiest parvi to grow and bloom, its culture is very different from the others. It prefers an acidic mix rather than the usual parvi/brachy basic, calcicoulus mix. I use the same mix that my phrags get, fine bark, coarse perlite, NZ sphagnum, with a little charcoal. It also likes it wetter than most paphs, but not sopping like phrags. Give it brighter light than most paphs, but not as much as armeniacum or the strap leafs....probably more hours of light is better than more intensity...they are great for under lights growing. The newer Vietnamese delanatii's are if anything easier to bloom than the old line bred plants, but are not always fragrant. Take care, Eric
I guess everybody's experience is just different with parvis ! I grow micranthum and armeniacums easily bit have always had a hard time with delenatii...

the ones really easily to grow are hybrids such as parvi x primulinum and they can really look nice ( see this thread for malipoense x primulinum hybrid :

one of my favorite parvi cross is Norito Hasegawa ( malipoense x armeniacum) and I find it much easier to grow than the species themselves...

anyway, welcome to the parvis nuts band !
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Hasegawa reminded me of another easy Parv. hybrid to grow; Paph. Joyce Hasegawa (P. delenatii x P. emersonii)... they grow faster then a typical plant of P. emersonii, and have richly mottled leaves... it is a really great plant, usually producing 2 to even 4 flowers (which is wierd, considering that it is VERY rare for P. emersonii to have 2 flowers, and P. delenatii typically has 2 flowers...).

Pat, thanks for reminding me... I've been meaning to track down a nice Joyce. I'd really like to find a confirmed pink clone. As for Parvi hybrids producing weird numbers of flowers, my Ho Chi Minh produced 3! Unfortunately, vietnamense donated its short-lived bloom properties, so you'd only get two blooms for about 3 days.

I love ALL the parvis! Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. Joyce Hasegawa was one of my original ideas for my first parvi as I have a reliable source for them BS (and I like the look)... I also love Ho Chi Minh and Magic Lantern, and of course delenatii. Now I simply have to make some choices! Decisions, decisions...

Thanks again for all the advice!


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