Micro Paph. laevigatum

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John M

Orchid Addict
Jun 7, 2006
Reaction score
Hamilton, Ontario - Canada
Being a splitter, I prefer to consider this a separate species from philippinense. It is so-oooo different. This clone is the micro variety. This 9 growth plant, with one inflorescence carrying 3 flowers and one bud, is in a 3 inch pot. The other eight growths are as yet unbloomed. The foliage is only 5 inches high!

I've also got a very, very miniature lowii in bloom. I'm thinking of crossing them and making a bunch of teacup Berenices! I think that the RHS considers laevigatum to be a variety of philippinense; so, even though the offspring would be very different from normal Berenice, they'd still be called that. Enjoy!

John M said:
Being a splitter, I prefer to consider this a separate species from philippinense. It is so-oooo different. This clone is the micro variety. This 9 growth plant, with one inflorescence carrying 3 flowers and one bud, is in a 3 inch pot. The other eight growths are as yet unbloomed. The foliage is only 5 inches high!

I'm leaning towards NOT being a splitter but I sure am intrigued here - especially with regards to laevigatum!

That is a fabulous plant - and mine (the same as the 'Snowy' x 'Buttermilk' I have just been asking about - is in sheath. Extremely compact plant like yours.

I am so curious! Would relish more opinions on this!!
Laevigatum does seem to be a stable variation of the philippinense group. The experts tend to group this with philippinense as the morphological formation of the flower unites them. I agree that this is unique as a population within the philippense cluster.
The species ranges all of the Philippine Islands and has been found as far as northern Borneo.
Roebelinii is also combined with some with Philippinense and others disagree. Once again, it is closely related but unique vegetatively and the flowers tends to have more pendant twisted petals.
Another population was called P. palawan, but was never published.

Like lowii, a large range creates varying ecosystems and some evolution of flower and plant forms from the common ancestor.
I think it's plausible given the large range and clear inclination towards flower/vegetative variation of philippinense that you might have distinct populations with specific traits. however, I'm not sure how many have been in situ to study these legimate variants, as opposed to the odd plant or plants that are selfed/sibbed to produce more of the same. hard to say for sure. I mean, if you get a few "micro" plants in each population of philippinense, then to me that would be more of a sporadic occurrence and a "forma" rather than a discrete "variety". but if you had a population of all "micro" plants, surely that must be a variety. (I admittedly am NOT a taxonomist, but I have a few choice words to describe them too, lol).
I'm a splitter -- I want every one.

Anyway, I think that if there are differences, they are different, and should be considered so.
jmoney, what you say sounds very reasonable. While the "Micro variety" might not be a true variety; but, a forma, I still believe that laevigatum should be recognized as a separate species. It consitantly looks different, both in foliage, flowers and growth habit. A well coloured (or dark) laevigatum doesn't have more brown, it has more gold in the petals and the pouch; but, it still has a white to cream dorsal.

I feel that if haynaldianum is recognized as a separate species from lowii, then why not separate leavigatum from philippinense? Paph. haynaldianum looks a lot more like lowii than laevigatum looks like philippinense. So why is haynaldianums' specific status never questioned; but, laevigatums' specific status is always questioned?

The reason why I am a splitter is because the different varieties tend to produce different results in hybridizing. It also would've stopped this mess that the RHS has gotten into, where a widely grown hybrid is suddenly broken down into two or more different hybrids....such as Susan Booth (roth x glanduliferum v. glanduliferum, or v. praestans, or v. bodegomii, or v. whilhelminiae. Now, wilhelminiae is finally recognized as a separate species and the hybrid with roth is now called William ambler. However, there are a bizzillion William Amblers out there (labelled as Susan Booth), that will never get the name change and that have already been used as parents under the name Susan Booth! That mess will never, ever be cleared up. However, if the different varieties of glanduliferum had always been recognized as separate species (at least by the RHS for hybrid registration purposes, if not the taxonomists), then, we'd all know what we were getting when we buy hybrids with any of these varieties as parents. As it stands now and will remain, other than knowing that you're getting a strap leafed Paph of some kind, you could get almost any "look" when you buy a Susan Booth! The varieties are so different from one another. For example, wilhelminiae is so small and dark, while v. glanduliferum can be so-ooo big and light. The Susan Booths made from these two varieties do not look like the same hybrid at all. It would've been best (for horticulturists, exhibitors and judges), if the different varieties had always been considered different species for hybrid registration purposes.

I'm impressed by the size of the flower relative to the leaf size. I think there's definitely something to be said for small leaf size and large flower size, especially when trying to fit more plants into the greenhouse.
Hey, there's my Paph. :drool: Okay John you can send it 'home' any time now. :poke: :rollhappy:

John brought this one over to show me a couple weeks ago and i tried very hard to get him to forget about it when he went home. Didn't work though.:(
Very nice, I wish mine would bloom so I can see the differences myself :clap: :clap: :clap:
John, that one definitely looks different from your typical philippinense (although "typical" is hard to pin down for this variable species). I just don't have nearly enough knowledge of its range and variability within its range to comment on whether or not there is a population somewhere that consists of plants that all bloom this way. There very well may be, but I don't have that kind of information. And that praestans morass...there may very well be more than two species in the mix there, although currently two are recognized.
that looks like a parent to my multiforal "noid".. small plant, similar flowers
but not as long on the petals, they open with more pink on the petals, then fade to cream and have a wider "stance".. but its very compact..
so why crosses with standard philippenense don't look right.
I not only love it ! I want it ! This is a marvelous cross and a great plant. This would sell fast and be very popular! It's terrific ! Congratulations!
Your plant as pictured looks like the variety I collected on Palawan Island in 1980. I called it "var. palawanense" but it is not legally described. I cannot tell whether your plant is a hybrid made with any of the other "P. philippinense" types or the true species.

I collected around 100 plants, all of which bloomed the same. It is easy to see the differences even when out of flower. It is not "a micro variety" but it is much smaller that any of the other varieties of the philippinense types.
I'd forgotten about that thread, nice mini! In the meantime, this type of phili has gotten varietal status. Olaf was involved, he might be able to tell us more.
Wow, this is an old thread. Thanks for your new comments everyone. Lance, I see that you didn't comment on this back in 2006; but, I remember having a conversation with you about it possibly being var. palawanense. It's even had (var. palawanense?) on the name tag since then. I just don't know where that conversation took place. Perhaps you p.m.'d me about it?

Wendy has had a division of this for a few years and it did REALLY well for her in her very bright grow room under the HID lights. Although, it did lose it's tight, compact growth habit. The new growths that it put on for her have leaves that are double to triple the length.....more "strap-leafed". I grow in a greenhouse that is a lot cooler than Wendy's grow room and my remaining piece has stayed compact with short, stocky leaves. It hasn't bloomed again though. It did not like being divided or the freezing temperatures in March, 2008.

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