Paph affine & gratrixianum with source info

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Sirius

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I am trying to understand the differences between affine and gratrixianum. I found the original description of affine printed in La Tribune Horticole ca. 1906. Would someone be so kind as to translate???

 
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Sirius

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I also found the original description of Paphiopedilum gratrixianum from The Gardener's Chronicle - Feb. 4th, 1905.



 
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Sirius

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Does anyone have access to the Christenson article showing the differences between the two species? Would you be able to scan and share it with us?
 

quietaustralian

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I do have that edition of Orchid Digest but not handy. I'll ask if my wife can dig it up.

I had cut and paste the passage below into a document that I keep on published S E Asian Paphs.

Koopowitz in Tropical Slipper Orchids tends to agree with Christenson but I'm aware that others consider affine/gratrixianum to be forms/varieties of villosum.

Regards, Mick

Christenson, Eric A. "The Rediscovery of Paphiopedilum Gratrixianum." Orchid Digest 68, no. 3 (Jul/Sep 2004): 146-147.: "The plants that have been called P. gratrixianum consistently in botany (Seidenfaden, 1992) and in horticulture (Gruss, 1994) are correctly P. affine described by DeWildemann in 1906 based on plants thought to have come from Tonkin in Vietnam. In addition to having quite different leaf proportions, these two species differ in their overall stature and pigmentation of the leaves. In P. gratrixianum the inflorescences are about half the length of the distinctively long scapes of P. affine, a feature which is conspicuously dominant in the hybrids of the latter. While both species have purple markings on the undersides of the leaves toward the base, the patterns are different. In P. gratrixianum the purple markings are distributed in a dense field of uniform marbling. Paphiopedilum affine, in contrast, has a less dense, nonuniform field of pigment that is punctuated by conspicuous bold spots, spots which are totally absent from P. gratrixianum."
 

Sirius

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So the differences between the two "species" are location, density of purple spotting, inflorescence length and leaf dimensions. I don't know if I believe that is enough to qualify as a separate species, but what I know of taxonomy could fill a thimble, barely. :)

It's interesting to note that even in 1905, they were doubtful that gratrixianum deserved to be a separate species.

I am very interested to read the text of the original description of affine that I posted above. I hope someone can translate it.
 

Roth

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Well the Tribune Horticole description does not fit gratrixianum at all...

4-5 leaves blabla, more or less green, with a white margin, striped/spotted with darker green., blablablafukfuk, from Tonkin as a novelty.

For the gratrixianum description, they say that the leaves are 4x20cm, which fits to perfection the gratrixianum coming from Lao Cai and remote parts of Vietnam.

Affine is therefore clearly a mottled leaf species ( most likely an hybrid as suggested by I think Cribb???). It is impossible to overlook the leaf description and jump to the staminodium or flower description. I have seen such hybrids, with appletonianum, cerveranum and callosum.

The wide leaf plants are clearly the gratrixianum.

The narrow leafed plants are extinct for a while, they came from Nha Trang, I was the last one to get plants about 3 years, they are different from those wide leafed gratrixianum, but clearly a kind of variation anyway. The wild plants are quite variable, from spotted dorsal to spotted/flushed to only flushed dorsal. I think that anyway gratrixianum and villosum breeds very frequently in the wild.






I do have that edition of Orchid Digest but not handy. I'll ask if my wife can dig it up.

I had cut and paste the passage below into a document that I keep on published S E Asian Paphs.

Koopowitz in Tropical Slipper Orchids tends to agree with Christenson but I'm aware that others consider affine/gratrixianum to be forms/varieties of villosum.

Regards, Mick

Christenson, Eric A. "The Rediscovery of Paphiopedilum Gratrixianum." Orchid Digest 68, no. 3 (Jul/Sep 2004): 146-147.: "The plants that have been called P. gratrixianum consistently in botany (Seidenfaden, 1992) and in horticulture (Gruss, 1994) are correctly P. affine described by DeWildemann in 1906 based on plants thought to have come from Tonkin in Vietnam. In addition to having quite different leaf proportions, these two species differ in their overall stature and pigmentation of the leaves. In P. gratrixianum the inflorescences are about half the length of the distinctively long scapes of P. affine, a feature which is conspicuously dominant in the hybrids of the latter. While both species have purple markings on the undersides of the leaves toward the base, the patterns are different. In P. gratrixianum the purple markings are distributed in a dense field of uniform marbling. Paphiopedilum affine, in contrast, has a less dense, nonuniform field of pigment that is punctuated by conspicuous bold spots, spots which are totally absent from P. gratrixianum."
Well, obviously he did not speak french, because the affine description clearly applies to a mottled leaf paph. The narrow leafed gratrixianum types have as well very dark and dense spotting, and some gratrixianum (from Tam Dao) have nearly no spots at their base, just a hint of pink flush...
 

poozcard

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The wide leaf plants are clearly the gratrixianum.

The narrow leafed plants are extinct for a while, they came from Nha Trang, I was the last one to get plants about 3 years, they are different from those wide leafed gratrixianum, but clearly a kind of variation anyway. The wild plants are quite variable, from spotted dorsal to spotted/flushed to only flushed dorsal. I think that anyway gratrixianum and villosum breeds very frequently in the wild.


Well, obviously he did not speak french, because the affine description clearly applies to a mottled leaf paph. The narrow leafed gratrixianum types have as well very dark and dense spotting, and some gratrixianum (from Tam Dao) have nearly no spots at their base, just a hint of pink flush...


Hi Roth,

Do you have an idea what should we call the narrow-leaf gratrixianum?
It is much easier to grow in Bangkok than the wide-leaf ones so I think it should not be gratrixianum.
 

Sirius

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So much for clearing anything up by going back to the type specimen. :sob:

I don't think anyone should be labeling anything as "affine" until we see a representative plant/flower of that species. I would be very grateful if someone would do a word for word translation of the affine description I posted above, so that we all may be enlightened.

There are some very interesting early renditions of hybrid paphs that look like what we call gratrixianum.


Cypripedium x Pauli - A hybrid between Cyp. insigne Chantini and Cyp. villosum Boxalli
 
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Rick

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I would also be concerned of trying to separate "wide" and "narrow" leaved versions as varieties or subspecies.

Depending on how I modify the nutrition to this plant, the leaf proportions can change an easy 20% with the same plant (grown different ways).

Christenson wanted to separate Vietnamese from Burmese (or Laotian) populations of this species by leaf proportion. I have a single plant that over the years can produce both wide and narrow leaves depending on how much K or how much Ca the plant gets.

In Vietnam the majority of populations are found over granitic/rhiolite soils which would have a bit more K available than Karst geology (much higher Ca balance).

With high lighting and high K nutrition you will end up with narrow spiky leaved plants that look very much like wild exul (except for all the purple under the leaves). If you boost up the Ca and reduce lighting, the same plants will get relatively large wide floppy dark green leaves (still with lots of underleaf pigmentation.

Villosum generally is epiphytic and also highly variable within its geography.

It would not be a surprise to me if gratrixianum is a terrestrial adapted variety of villosum. Maybe speciation in progress as villosum comes out of the trees to colonize the ground????? Frequently you find a widespread and variable generalist branching off into more refined and less variable concepts as it exploits newer niches.
 

poozcard

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This is a picture taken from south Laos.



And this is also the same type as found from south Laos.
The leaves are not just narrower but also thicker.



credit to my friend Kobsuk K.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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At one point I had a "true" gratrixianum, according to Christenson. Foliage wise, it resembled a complex hybrid. The leaves were very wide, at least an inch, but no longer, actually a little shorter, than the typical "gratrixianum". In fact, the leaf width was wider than any I have seen on a species in the insigne group. While I had it, it did bloom, and the flower was fairly typical for gratrixianum. I'll leave it to the taxonomists to sort out. I guess the situation with gratrixianum is comparable to the situation with barbigerum and vejvarutianum/rhizomatosum, except in this case its with leaf width rather than leaf size. However, Christenson's point was that the original description for gratrixianum was for a plant with wide leaves. As for affine, I was always confused about what that plant was....always thought it was more of a villosum form.
 

Rick

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Wow Those pictures of the Laotian plant are very different from the Vietnamese version. If the insitu pic is typical then it is similar to my comparison of exul insitu compared to Green House grown. The insitu gratrix is very short and stubby. But it is interesting to note that the Laotian plant is also not epiphytic.

Insitu pics of Vietnamese gratrix (in Averyanov's Slippers of Vietnam) show plants in much denser jungle under lower light. These plants have longer leaves.

In general it looks like the Laotian flowers are somewhat less pigmented than Vietnamese plants.

Its hard to say if the differences are genetic (at least enough to warrant species status) or just different growing conditions.
 

mormodes

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I am trying to understand the differences between affine and gratrixianum. I found the original description of affine printed in La Tribune Horticole ca. 1906. Would someone be so kind as to translate???
FWIW Kew has gratrixianum as the correct name for affine. So there is no affine. I can only assume Cribb did that in his most recent book. I scanned the Christenson article for you but can't figure out how to post the images here. They must be too big for the forum's quick reply box... Anyway Sirius if you're still interested we can figure out how to accomplish that.
 

Sirius

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I sent you my email address. See if you can send the pages and I will post them.

I was reading back through all this information again tonight and something kind of struck me as odd. The type description for gratrixianum that Christenson thought described the form from Laos, states that the dorsal is "contracted but not recurved at the base."

All the photos posted of gratrixianum from Laos have extremely recurved dorsals. Or is my definition of recurved off?

The description also clearly says that the leaves are spotted, and the drawing of the type specimen clearly shows spots. I wish we could see the leaf bases better in the photos from Laos posted here.
 

Sirius

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Ok, I think I am just about to give up on this whole mess. There is way too much variability. The deeper you dig, the more messy it becomes.

Every photo posted shows a slightly different set of characteristics! Without a seriously in depth survey of all the plants growing in the wild, how could you ever hope to say for sure what is true gratrixianum or not? Do these plants deserve to be a species gratrixianum?

Granted, Christenson's article shows a plant that matches the leaf dimensions of the type specimen. It also has the black spotting in the center where the petals meet. But it doesn't address the dorsal recurve, which is blatantly absent in the type specimen. Where did he get this photo? How many plants were observed? The damn article reads like a fluff piece, and doesn't pin anything down with factual data. Did he even see the plants in the wild, or did somebody email him a photo and tell him they found the plant in the wild? How can you explain the staminode, which looks nothing like gratrixianum/villosum/exul/etc. staminodes in hundreds of other photos I have been looking at? The staminode on Christenson's plant doesn't appear to even look like the staminode in the type description drawing!?!?! WTF?

All the photos that Poozcard posted of supposed true gratrixianum growing in Laos lack the black spotting on the petals. So now we have two "true" gratrixianum variations...those with black spots on the petals, and those without.

And to make matters worse, I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out why the drawing in the type description looks an awful lot like a hybrid with exul in it, which conveniently doesn't usually have a recurved dorsal, and has black spots on the petals...



So Roth is obviously right, too much genetic variation appears in this group to say for certain what is black and white. I have learned one thing from all of this. Taxonomists may be crazy before they become taxonomists, but they are damn sure crazy after becoming taxonomists. :)
 
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