Does anyone know pollinators of Paphs?

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Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2009
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I wonder if there is any study about pollination of Paphs.
From time to time we see a pic of a fly, died in a pouch in a greenhouse. But do we know any pollinator of Paphs in their natural habitat? Is it the same fly that pollinates P. niveum as well as P. exul, as both live in the same habitat? Is P. sanderianum pollinated by ants and what about P. rothschildianum? Or are there Perfume Bees as we find them as pollinators of Orchids in South-America? I've heard that the flower of P. micrantum is a mimicry to some Azalee to get the same pollinator.
But are there any studies about this theme?

If anyone knows more about it I would be thankful about your help!


Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2008
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Canberra, Australia
Hi Chris

This scientific paper summarises Slipper Orchid pollinators.

Bees and flies are the pollinators of the 42 species of slipper orchids mentioned. Hover flies pollinated all but one of the Paphiopedilum species.

There is no evidence that ants pollinate sanderianum. People have brought that up before but it doesn't make any sense. The belief is the long petals that hang over cliffs glisten in the sunlight which attract the hover flies.

P. rothschildianum is also pollinated by hover flies.

A lot of the Parvi's are colourful as they are pollinated by honey bees which are attracted to yellow and blue flowers. Micranthum is one of those. A lot of the other Paphs such as the multi-florals are colourless as hover flies are not attracted to colour.


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