Free-flowering Paphs?

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Hi all,

I was having a conversation with a friend about the wonder of the new, modern free-flowering Catt hybrids and we got to speculating about whether any effort has been made to breed free flowering Paphs.

P. maudiae "The Queen" was mentioned as one plant that would seem to flower freely but I read that the speculation is that it is 3n so likely a dead end for this type of breeding.

If one was to actively set out to breed a free-flowering line of Paphs, what would the approach be. Relying on dumb luck (like The Queen) doesn't seem like much of a strategy. Is there any rationale for the free-flowering nature of modern Catt hybrids?
 
The shift from free-flowering to fastest-growing is a productive change of subject. Maudiae The Queen is supposedly triploid and this could drive faster growth, explaining its more free-flowering habit. But that many complex Maudiae types behave much the same way would speak against triploid genetics which could hinder breeding. The question now would be how to capitalize off these faster growing plants and breed them into non-maudiea-type complexes?

tnyr5, can you give some examples of the lowii crosses you are talking about?
 
Hmm, Mount Low, Saint Low, Toni Semple, Berenice...most of em, really. Choice of plant is crucial, too: pick plants that have waited to spike until the next growth is close to mature.
 
I would agree on Paph. lowii and Maudiae hybrids. But I did have a Paph. esquireolei that would bloom 2x a year. It was a big many growth plant
 
I would agree on Paph. lowii and Maudiae hybrids. But I did have a Paph. esquireolei that would bloom 2x a year. It was a big many growth plant
"big and many growth" = lots of phytochemical resource production and storage capability, which enhances the growth and flowering of any plant.
 
I look at this as a difficult, if not impossible question. One that might not have an answer.
I feel that if you can provide the basic culture for Paphiopedilums, mainly light and proper moisture, there are many that might fit the bill. But to look for things that flower freely no matter how bad your culture might be. Those plants may prove impossible to find.
Growing indoors under lights and setting up a good watering schedule and the appropriate media, I find Paphiopedilum bellatulum, niveum and concolor to bloom regularly. Paphiopedilum sukhakulii, callosum, and henryanum bloom well for me. But if I don’t water enough or provide too little light, these guys sulk.
There are very few guarantees in orchids in my mind. They need some level of basic care. It is a matter of commitment in one sense. Orchids won’t thrive if you neglect them.
I find Phrag. Andean Fire, Paph. sargentianum, Phrag. Don Wimber to be always in bloom or spike.
Look at Oncidium sphacelatum, that grows and flowers like a weed for me. It seems not to care how I treat it, it flowers. BUT if I get it too shady, or too Sunny, it blooms with fewer flowers, fewer new growth, etc.
 
Thanks to everyone who has responded in this thread. The responses have provided an interesting way of looking at the problem.

It seems to me that Paphs will flower once they have achieved large enough size (enough resources). This is apparent when considering some hybrids that seem to flower whenever they have mature growth.

It now seems to me that the critical issue is how to break the season lock on flowering that many species exhibit. Hybridization does seem to do this but only sporadically -- it would appear. Maudiae and lowii hybrids being cases in point. That so many Brachies seem to be free flowering is interesting when considering that complex cross with Brachies seem to retain the lock or, in the case of crosses into Polyantha, the lock is exacerbated such that some crosses never flower.

So, my question has now changes a bit to how to we breed fast maturing plants, and what hybrid combinations will best facilitate this and break the season lock so often exhibited. For instance, if we cross a Brachi, like concolor, onto a Maudiae line do we get faster growing plants that flower more freely? Or is it counter productive?
 
I don’t know if you can pinpoint any singular reason or goal. That seems to be difficult. Perhaps it has to do with crossing species boundaries. When you take a Brachypetalum and cross it with a Callosum group member, there are some borders or boundaries there. Only compatible species produce viable seed.
Then you have hybrids between the Roth group and Brachy group like you said. Maybe those sectional boundaries with the genus Paphiopedilum are too wide to cross?
 
Thanks to everyone who has responded in this thread. The responses have provided an interesting way of looking at the problem.

It seems to me that Paphs will flower once they have achieved large enough size (enough resources). This is apparent when considering some hybrids that seem to flower whenever they have mature growth.

It now seems to me that the critical issue is how to break the season lock on flowering that many species exhibit. Hybridization does seem to do this but only sporadically -- it would appear. Maudiae and lowii hybrids being cases in point. That so many Brachies seem to be free flowering is interesting when considering that complex cross with Brachies seem to retain the lock or, in the case of crosses into Polyantha, the lock is exacerbated such that some crosses never flower.

So, my question has now changes a bit to how to we breed fast maturing plants, and what hybrid combinations will best facilitate this and break the season lock so often exhibited. For instance, if we cross a Brachi, like concolor, onto a Maudiae line do we get faster growing plants that flower more freely? Or is it counter productive?
These ARE the fast maturing plants lol. You can make a Paph bloom whenever you want, just manipulate the seasons.
 
As I ponder this further it appears to me to be something of a fool's errand. The genetics of Paphs would seem to work against the concept unlike with Catts where the intersectional hybridization seems to improve flowering. I should just focus on collecting fast growing cultivars with shapely flowers. Thanks for entertaining the idea.
 
When I first started growing (40ish years ago), I was told outright by a very good breeder of paphs (probably not who you are thinking of, a generation before him) that the secret was breed the fastest growing plants and sell the rest. Breed with the best of the first 10 or so plants to flower. Slower plants often have better flowers (I think this is true based on my experience), but you'll go broke that way. If you are a collector, you might want to buy the slower, chunkier plants. They will get you awards and ribbons. If you are a seller, you sell the plants in spike.

Is that the best breeding goal? Probably not, but it is one of the most realistic ones on a commercial scale. I'd bet real dollars that it is the driving force in the market, whatever any breeder might say. Every commercial breeder is betting real dollars on it too, even if they don't realize it. The older I get the more I see the logic. But I'm also getting to the point where it is a risk to buy unripe bananas. It has certainly worked for some species (roths, for example).
 

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