Dwarf paph philippinense...

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Dec 9, 2006
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Penang, Malaysia..d home of fabulous paphs.
I'm not sure whether to post this under 'taxonomy' or 'culture', so i might as well put it here... Two days ago, I encountered dwarf paph philippinense at a local orchid show. :) The leaf span of the mature plant is only about 1 foot across. The flowers were, of course, smaller than normal phils, but I thought they were gorgeous... Each spike carries, on average, 3 to 4 blooms. But alas, when I asked about the price, it was rather exorbitant. A single blooming size plant costs nearly 4 times the price of a normal blooming size phil. The seller said that these are rather rare as they are endemic to the island of Cebu, Philippines. Now, i'm having second thoughts about it.:evil: Does anyone know how their culture differs from normal philippinense? I have failed to culture philippinense twice, for no apparent reason. I treated them just like exul, but somehow they died. If the dwarf variety is more accommodating to my culture, i just might get one of those cute little things... :drool:
Personally, I'd treat as phil.

I have laevigatum., roebelinii, phil. Culture's the same for all five that I have, and three have bloomed, including the smaller ones. Twice. Both my laev. and roeb. aureaum have leafspans less than a foot across and I do nothing different than my regular phil/roebs.
The mini philippinense comes from Palawan Is of the Philippines I believe.
The culture is no different to any other phli. It grows quicker and into clumps fast and will flower easier too.
The latest book by Braem & Chiron is very good for these uncommon Paphs.
I have this plant and its a great one. I have used it for breeding also. The good thing about it is the seedlings don't take anywhere near the time to flower as the large forms of phili do, depends on the other parent too. I used it with P.primulinum = P. Honey. They look like flowering in 4 years from flask, 2+ years quicker than the other similar crosses.
breeding with mini phil

Roy....do you sell your P. Honey made with the mini phil? Are you a hobbyist, or do you have a business? I would be interested in any easy blooming multi crosses if you have some to spare. Eric
I had my own nursery business for 30 years. Family illness has caused me to return to hobby status. These days if I make a cross, I only get up to 100 seedlings if possible. I then flower them out and sell them at markets. The drama one has to go through to send stuff overseas, particularly plants, from where I live now would cost more than its worth. Sorry. I wish I could.
If you want a plant of the mini P. phili, check the website and e-mail the place I bought my plant from. He sends flasks overseas and plants too. Website is ,
I will speak with the owner and see if he can send plants on my behalf in the mean time.
Sorry I cant be more help, quarantine, cities and for me distance to arrange anything is too great. I live 3 1/2 hrs away from the nearest Intern' Airport.
Quick note, a seed pod on Multi flora paphs takes 5 - 6 months to be ready for flasking. A good lab would have your seedlings ready in 10 - 12 Mths and you can have as many as you want.
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The small-growing P. philippinense that comes from Palawan Island grows in the mountains near Brooke's Point, (near the southern tip). Flowers are very similar to those shown in this thread and may be the same species.

This particular variety, or species, has very cool nights, especially in winter. I was there in October and I would say it probably drops into the low 50 degrees for a few months.

Being very close to Borneo, I would think the same culture as is given P, rothschildianum will bring both good growth and flowers. The fellow from thailand (and possibly others) may be growing them too warm at night which will cause them to diminish and grow poorly.

As for flowering, remember there are two reasons why orchids do not bloom: insufficient light, the other is the lack of sufficient drop in nighttime temperatures, from sommer to winter, of about 20 degrees, for a period of 4-6 weeks. This also calls for a decrease in water during winter.

It is a very interesting species being that the flowers are so similar to the principle species. Its geographical isolation probably accounts for the diminuitive plant habit.
Lance, sorry, I should have put reference to your book also but I have read it to know if this phili is listed. I don't have the Braem/Chiron book either but a friend does. Given the cost of the books over here, I'll have to sell a lot more plants to afford them. I haven't had much income for a long while.
Unfortunately no, but you no doubt you would have met a long time friend of mine and Paph seed flasker Noel Donelly. It would be nice to catch up if your in Aus' again. I'm sure I could arrange a large gathering to hear you speak.

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