First Bloom: Paph niveum ‘Lil Ruff’ x Lady Isabel

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Nov 29, 2008
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Bloomington, MN

This is an Orchids Limited, Plymouth, MN cross that we think is the first to bloom of the cross. The cross was made on 5/1/04 and the seed was harvested on 12/3/04. It was in flask until 2/22/07, a little over three years. This bloom is thus about 5 years from seed harvest and a little less than 3 years out of the flask.

The widest leaf span is 25 cm and the plant has eight leaves with two new growths. The flower itself is 12 cm NS width and 6 cm NS height from top of the dorsal to the bottom of the pouch.

Crosses of Paph niveum (a brachypetalum subgenus) with polyantha subgenous paphs (e.g rothschildianum, stonei, philippinense, kolopakingii) are often reported as difficult to grow and flower. In 2007 in this forum, Jason Fischer, from Orchids Limited, reported on a 3N Woluwense (rothschildianum x niveum) remake using a 4N niveum as the pod parent that seemed to be easier/faster blooming than older crosses made with rothschildianum as the pod parent. It was not clear if this was the 4N influence or just the use of niveum as the pod parent.

This current cross used a very nice 2N niveum as the pod parent and a 2N Lady Isabel (rothschildianum x stonei) and still achieved blooming within 3 years from the flask. Although using niveum as the pod parent may be helping the growth and blooming, it is also possible that more recently developed rothschildianum species and hybrids (like the Lady Isabel used in this cross) are growing and flowering faster than older roth specimens and hybrids.

The seedling that I purchased was grown in an indoor basement plant room under wide-spectrum fluorescent lights, about 10 inches (25 cm) from the tubes. The plant was grown in LECA (Hydroton) as medium but not really with semi-hydro technique. The plant sat in a saucer and was flushed with Green Jungle (Orchids Limited) fertilizer solution each week (2 tablespoons per gallon reverse osmosis water, which produces about 125 ppm N). It was then lightly watered with straight RO water every 1-2 days to prevent salt accumulation and to keep roots moist but not saturated. The pot was always able to freely drain. The day length was varied from 15 hours in May/June (temps 80-85/65-70) to a short day period of 11 hours in October during which day temps were 70-72 with night temps of 55-60. Spring and Summer began in November. If you are wondering why October was the depth of Winter, it is because my cool down happens when I open the plant room window and September and October are best for this since it is too cold for nearby plants if I open the window in November/December.

I noticed the beginning of the flower spike in this plant about September when days had shortened and temperatures had begun to fall. I slowly felt and then saw the spike develop, becoming gradually more anxious over the three months.
A very lovely paph. You can be proud of it. One of the best niveum cross I've seen. Thanks for the picture.
Well that is fast from flask to flower. It looks like there is only one flower w/o a bud. Is this common for these crosses on the first blooming? How many seedlings did you get and how many are of this size, that is BS?
I am hoping Jason or Robert will chime in her soon since they are the experts.

There is a very small second bud on this plant, but I don't think it is going to develop. I think the expectation is that there will be at least two flowers with subsequent bloomings. Since this plant has made two new growths already and they are decent size, perhaps we will get multiple growths and blooms each year. There was pretty good seedling production from the cross because I had a good number of seedlings to choose from, although as usual, I make Jerry, Jason, or Robert help make the final choice for me since my eye isn't very well trained in what is a "good" one. There are still plants of this cross available online at OL.

I am really liking these brachy/parvi crosses with the polyantha group. I have bloomed Pink Sky (delenatii x Lady Isabel) and am excited about another new cross which is Bel Royal x vietnamense which should be nicely purple.
Dot - this bloom seems fairly similar to your picture of Woluwense on the site. Has it been difficult for you to grow/bloom Woluwense? Do you have other niveum/polyantha crosses?
that was an awesome post. lots of great information about your specific culture and all the dates.
It looks fantastic. I'm happy to have one of the plants from this cross at home, but it still has a long way to go.
Very Nice Terry! and excellent description (I could not have done it better my self). Thanks for posting.

:clap: :drool: Very Nice!!! Good growing!
I suppose my Woluwense will bloom when I finally give it away!
Terry stopped by to show us his plant, so we took some pictures of it:



It looks even nicer in person! Good growing Terry!

It must be nice to be so good with the camera.

I think we discussed our hope that the blooms would become larger than 12 cm with subsequent flowerings and that we could get to 2-3 flowers per spike. Some of this could be cultural so now we find out if I am any good as a grower (gulp).

I have gotten to really like these brachy/parvi crosses with the polyantha subgenous, particularly the whites, pinks, and purples. Big, multiple, long lasting colors with fun shapes and colors. I hope that Jason and Robert keep it up. It is a lot of fun to get a plant from a new cross and then bloom it. You feel part of something (even though Jason and Robert did all the hard work).
very nice pictures!
I have a seedling of the reverse cross (Lady Isabel x niveum), but it is a very slow growing one on my windowsil. I hope to get a real multifloral white Paph some day.
My original photo was deleted from Flickr by magic. I post it again.

The flower increased in size from the original measurements so that it now has a horizontal NS of 13 cm and a vertical NS of 7 cm. I won't even hope that subsequent bloomings will be even bigger. Heck, maybe it will just live.

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