Not this debate again... I have seen a lot of wild collected fisherii and schlimii (but never observed in situ). The two species are different vegatatively and in flower characteristics. To my knowledge, their ranges do not overlap either. Out of species in that group, (fischerii, andreettea, schlimii, manzurii, angoli (sorry for all the spelling errors ), I would say fischerii and schlimii are the most distantly related and obviously distinct species.People with good knowledge say the technology exists in the plant community, but the problem is funding AND deciding the samples. You would need a group of certified species schlimii (naturally collected or line bred diploids with very careful provenance) and the same for presumed fischerii. You can’t test one schlimii and one fischeri to make the determination. This is not easy. The genetic analysis would show the number and degree of differences between the populations. It could be that the differences would be very small and the decision would be simple that there is only the one species and schlimii came first. However, if there are distinct differences, are the differences enough to justify two species? We expect some genetic variation within any species. When I think it through, I understand why this kind of analysis is infrequent with orchids. Yet, we see that such an analysis can really help clarify things like moving the Brazilian “Laelias” back into Cattleya.
We will continue to keep them as separate species until a taxonomist (Cribb/Braem) publishes otherwise.Not this debate again... I have seen a lot of wild collected fisherii and schlimii (but never observed in situ). The two species are different vegatatively and in flower characteristics. To my knowledge, their ranges do not overlap either. Out of species in that group, (fischerii, andreettea, schlimii, manzurii, angoli (sorry for all the spelling errors ), I would say fischerii and schlimii are the most distantly related and obviously distinct species.
Not that anyone asked...but
Fischerii and andreettea are very simular vegetatively but very different flowers. They also grow close to each other but are distinct species.
I also believe that a few of the new species coming out of Columbia in the last few years are varieties or forms of schlimii. Not enough differences to separate them.
That's my two cents.
Many thanks for explanation. It is not clear to me your opinion about status of fischeri.I undertstand that there is a wide territory with overlapping the natural habitat of two species, but there is the original definition of species as status: fenotipically similar individuals, they can produce germinative individuals and these individuals are same as parents fenotipically, too. From this aspect, shlimii is different from fischeri, but i m not an expert.Let me correct a few things that have been stated here.
First, the veracity of a previous assertion that DNA and/or genetic analysis on Phrag, schlimii was in progress or starting soon is in doubt. The plant genetics lab at the university mentioned in the assertion has not conducted any genetic analysis on schlimii nor is any planned. The current taxonomic treatment was expanded to include species biology and ecology, which also support the reclassification back into schlimii. As mentioned here, a proper genetic analysis would need to be based on a statistically significant sample from a cross section of populations across the entire range. It is very costly, and without a graduate student to invest the time and get a sizable grant, this is not going to happen any time soon. Empirical evidence, ecology and biology are what the natural populations give us, and what the reclassification was based upon.
The original location of what is proposed to be fischeri is in fact connected to the broader range of schlimii allowing for gene flow to and from the original location to other nearby populations. I have been there. I have seen them. Vegetative characters are variable, subject to environmental influence (phenotypic plasticity) and plants of all different sorts can be found in all populations. Not a single plant at the type location matches the description. Not one. Although a beautiful and well grown plant, neither does the plant in the photo above.
Commercial interests are poor sources for taxonomy, ecology and biology. While some of my closest and oldest friends in the orchid community are commercial growers, there is simply no impetus for any commercial interest to sell less plants and voicing any concern regarding poor and/or incorrect statements made in support of some species can only result in selling less "names" to the orchid growing community. How many longifolium do you need or have room for and how many schlimii do you really want? Sell them under different names and sales goes up.
I published a detailed treatise on schlimii which includes the ecological and biological aspects of this species in the Orchid Digest earlier this year. Hopefully soon the article will be reprinted in the SOA newsletter and Die Orchidee and the research, methodology behind the conclusions, as well as a detailed analysis of what each name is alleged to be should be available to everyone and I encourage all to get a copy and read for yourselves. My schlimii lecture was very well recieved and I am happy to present the evidence and conclusions to any society or a small group of Phrag enthusiasts over Zoom.
There are two "formal" forms of schlimii that are supported by natural populations and those are manzurii and andreettae and the reasons why are part of the articles.