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Hello everyone,
My name is Phill, and my user name is beemerphill (picked up the nickname over the years wile riding a Beemer motorcycle). I do not grow orchids, and know very little about them, except that some of the flowers are prettier than the law allows. I do like them, but do not want the hasslel of messing with them.
My wife, on the other had, is getting into them, and really seems to enjoy them. She asked me to register in this forum, and get some help in identifying an orchid she has.
She bought a plant at the local orchid society. They had a bunch of plants from a former members collection. That member had died, and his family wanted the remaining flowers in his collection to be sold at a meeting.
This plant looked kinda so-so, but she is very good with plants, and took it home to help it. After splitting the plant into three eparaterate pots, it looked much better. One of the little plants flowered after about six weeks. We do not know what kind of orchid it is, or what to call it. The flower is beautiful, and appears to be very healthy. It almost looks as if it has varnish or polish on it, it is very shiny. I will attempt to post some pics. If anyone knows what to call this plant, please reply to this post, and let us know what it is. Thanks for reading this long and rambling post, and for helping a new guy with an orchid question.


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First of all welcome to the forum and greetings from the Netherlands.

I can't help you with the ID of the plant though. It is a Paphiopedilum hybrid but exactly what will remain a mistery for ever. As far as I can tell it's a complex hybrid and it might have multiple generations of hybrids in it's family tree.
Thank you Marc!
I was not expecting a reply this fast. We have no idea what it is. There was no identification tag on it, and we are both too new to orchids to even hazard a guess.
Hi Phill, and welcome.

Marc is correct. It looks like you have a "complex" hybrid Paphiopedilum. Complex means it has multiple species in its background.

If your wife loves orchids, I would strongly recommend she join your local orchid society, if there is one. They will help you learn more about how to grow this orchid, and any others she/you might acquire. You don't say where you are from, but if you go to the American Orchid Society website ( and click on the "Affiliated Societies" button, you'll be able to locate a society nearby (that link is at the bottom of the right column).
This seems like a friendly forum. We have joined the local orchid society. It is the Tulsa Orchid Society. The people there are a friendly bunch too. We would have taken the little plant to the last meeting, but that meeting was also the Christmas party, and we left the flower at home. It is clear to me that we will be learning many new words if she continues with these orchids. In the meantime, I will just enjoy the beauty of them. I thought that the shiny purple part on this one was a nose. Then I was informed that it is really a slipper. Apparently orchids are sensitive about such things. Who would'a thunk?
Thanks again!

about some quick names and how that all works; if you go outside, you'll find dandelions and trees and such growing out in the fields and the woods. the way science has determined things, mostly what you see in the wilds are species. a lion is a species and a tiger is a different species. if you cross (hybridize) a lion with a tiger, you get a hybrid. if you keep hybridizing with many different cats, you then will have a hybrid that is 'complex', lots of different species included in it's background. one good thing for a new orchid grower is that a hybrid that's made up of different species often can be easier to grow than the single species that are found out in the wild. if it were a simple hybrid, then you might be able to guess easily what parents it might have had, but when you throw lots of different ones in there in unknown amounts then figuring out 'what' it is to any close degree ends up flying out the window.

generally until someone in the orchid society helps you with how to grow your plant, if you look online for 'paphiopedilum culture', you should find a vast amount of information. also, if you look online for 'paph potting media' you can find sources of it. if the mix that's in the pot looks mushy, then it needs new. also, the pot should be just big enough to hold the roots of the plant; if the pot is much bigger than the mass of roots, then it's very possible that the roots could rot. too much mix means the roots don't use up the water on the sides, and it all starts to break down. the roots will need both water and air to be happy. so in winter it may be like once a week watering very thoroughly to keep the plant happy. you won't want it soaking wet all the time, but just slightly damp. watering earlier in the day will be very helpful, because there are nooks and crannies where if you put water over the top of this plant it will get held overnight and lead to diseases. plants watered early will usually dry off before night; watering just the pot will be very helpful, staying away from the 'crown' or mass of leaves coming up from the roots

welcome and have fun! :) often orchid husbands that don't want to get into growing these things get roped into building shelves and lighting units, fixing humidifiers and etc. eventually you'll be 'given' a plant so that you'll be roped into growing something as well!
Welcome from NYC! It is a paphiopedilum hybrid. There are members here who are much more knowledgible [I know I spelled that wrong somehow :(] on these than I am. This is a good place for learning about slipper orchids! :)
Welcome to SlipperTalk! I suggest that you bring the plant in flower (if possible) or a photo to your next meeting. Maybe some of your fellow society members might remember it from the previous owner. And it's also possible that he/she shared divisions with other society members before your wife acquired this one.
I am getting a lot of good info to pass on to my wife. I might leave out the part about the husband getting "his own" orchid.
My current ride is a 2002 R1150R. It is for sale. The spirit is still willing, but the joints don't cooperate as well as they used to. It is time to let someone else enjoy it. You are right, these are very smooth and nimble motorcycles.
The little flower with the shiny purple "slipper" is doing well. I will admit, these archids are some of the prettiest flowers around. They just have wierd names, and are very fussy about care. In time, we will get it figured out.
"Often we refer to the best orchid care as benign neglect."

That is some of the best advice I've read so far.

Hey Phill! Another TOS member here! I wasn't able to make it to the Christmas party, but we may have met, if not, Welcome! ...I'm Val, the petite blond under 30, so probably easy to spot me if I'm at the meeting! It was quite a fun scramble for plants at that auction/sale if it's the one I think you're talking about, so you might have been one of a few that asked me about some of the Paphs and how easy/hard they are to grow/what they look like? Most of what I grow is Paphs, with a few miniatures and mounted things as space allows under the lights, and when not excitedly digging through plants for sale I'm probably even better at answering beginner questions if you have any! :) I do seem to recall having fun helping some other non-Paph specialist members pick out Paphs, after I was done with my initial buying frenzy, so I hope I was helpful! The stuff I got seems to be rebounding well, even the scratch and dents from toward the end of the sale, so it's nice to see others had good luck too. Not that I don't enjoy Christmas parties, but I'm looking forward to the regular meetings starting again - I like to see everything that comes in for Grow 'n Show :)
Greetings Mrs. Paph!
If the little flower is still around for the next meeting, we will bring it down to Tulsa for you to see. If it doesn't last that long, we are easy to identify.
I'm the only one there on crutches, and my wife is the good looking gal that I always bring along.
That sale was interesting. What I know about orchids could be written in capital letters on you little fingernail. My wife seemed to enjoy it tho, and the little flower is a pleasure to have around. I am kinda waiting for a few more of these lazy plants to get flowers. We have had a few really nice ones. They all have names that I have forgotten already. One of the nicest was a "butterfly". That was the first one to flower at home. Since then, we have had a few others. The little flower with the big purple nose is the latest. My wife will enjoy comparing notes with you.
See you at TOS,

WELCOME Phil! Glad you joined us! I'm going with the suggestion on the ID, ask at a meeting or submit to the newsletter, it will more than likely reach more members that way!
Hello Phill and welcome to the forum!!! :)

(btw Dido, the hybrid between lion and tiger is called "liger" and it is very big in size. But has health