Hookerae ‘Icarus Wings’

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Beautiful flower and informative posts. I have a volonteanum (I gather that hookerae and volonteanum are quite similar but are considered distinct species now(?) that just started to spike about a week and a half ago. I know now that I have quite a wait in front of me.
 

Guldal

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.... I gather that hookerae and volonteanum are quite similar but are considered distinct species now[?]
Well, I think, that depends on your position in the ongoing, botanical trench war between 'lumpers' and 'spreaders'. The former would probably see them as two, distinctly separate species in their own right; while the latter would still operate with volonteanum being a variety of hookerae. I don't think, there are conclusive evidence, nor consensus about botanist in favour of either position - so: take your pick! ;)
 
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Yeah, far be it from me to have my own opinion about this. LanceB treats them as separate species. Braem also treats them as separate species last time I checked. Who knows what they've come up with. I admit to having a moment of disbelief when the "powers that be" decided that Sedirea japonica was a Phalaenopsis. :)
 

Ray

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I’m up in the air about the lumping and splitting.

If you consider that humans and apes have about 97-98% identical DNA - and we all have met folks that could be in either camp - how reliable are any assessments of synonymy?
 

eds

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I vary depending on context!

In hobbies I think we should split to the lowest level possible. Many people who will cross very different members of one species wouldn't cross two different species, no matter how similar!

Whereas in the wild I think there is sometimes a tendency to split too far when closely related species are interchanging genetic material still - gulls are a great example of this!
 

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DrLeslieEe

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It is without question this dilemma will continue for a long time, depending on which grower or taxonomists you confer with.

Logically, the two share many morphological and phylogenetic traits. And the reasons they are separated are as good a reason why the appletonianum complexes should be separated.

My stance is that they are related and volonteanum is a variety of hookerae. For two reasons:

1. They are found in the same area, separated by elevation (volonteanum occurs in higher elevations). This difference in ecoclines may have dictated minor plant adaptations (such as tanning of leaves to protect against increased sun exposure of volonteanum in the mountains). These adaptations may allow the plant to survive the more extreme weather.

2. The cooler elevation also allows pigments to congregate in higher saturation to evolve darker and intensely colored flowers (in volonteanum). The more colorful flowers may attract the pollinators more, therefore creating more heavily pigmented flowers than lower elevations.

If volonteanum was discovered on another island far far away, then perhaps the argument for a different speciation status is more logical and valid.

My two cents lol.
 
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DrLeslieEe

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I vary depending on context!

In hobbies I think we should split to the lowest level possible. Many people who will cross very different members of one species wouldn't cross two different species, no matter how similar!

Whereas in the wild I think there is sometimes a tendency to split too far when closely related species are interchanging genetic material still - gulls are a great example of this!
Agreed. The two should be bred separately to maintain the integrity of their types.
 
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Kew on the other hand treats volonteanum as a variety of hookerae.... with Braem (sic!) as their reference: Paphiopedilum hookerae var. volonteanum (Sander ex Rolfe) Braem | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science

Once again: take your pick! 😉

The Braem reference you cited from Kew seems to be from 1988. I'm looking at his 2003 monograph, Paphiopedilum, Braem and Chiron (Preface by Koopowitz). He does state that the differences between the two are very minor, and that he doubts, if botanically, that volonteanum is more than a distinct variety of hookerae. But he does go on to discuss distinct differences.... p.193. My feeling is of yours. Take your pick. It doesn't seem as if his world revolves around this question either.
 
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