Paphiopedilum spicerianum ‘Hercules’

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Sometimes plants are so vastly different then the “standard” that they can freak the judges out. I don’t necessarily think that plant was treated with colchicine, but you might see where some judges could think it was. I don’t have any idea if polyploid plants can be awarded or not, but I’m sure that judges have opinions on the topic. Anyway it’s a beautiful plant and I was glad to see that the dorsal recurved that certainly make it a spicy.
That may be the difference...mushroom culture (the community of mushroom people) by and large makes all information available to everybody. That’s the ethos. Compared to orchids, mushrooms are a million times more challenging to identify and learn and DNA sequencing has exploded the historical concepts of diversity, it’s pure craziness. If orchidists did the same, a lost tag would never be more than an annoyance.

Ah but then we wouldn't be able to BS each other.
Back in May I posted this thread.

Noone here would entertain the idea that Plant B could be pure.

Since then I have ascertained plant B came from a grower in Queensland who usually specialises in multi's, and imports flasks from reputable growers.
Comparing with your pics on this thread, and the known history of the seedling, I again think it could be pure spicerianum.
The dorsal also reflexed after after a couple of weeks and looked more spicerianum as it aged.
Maybe just grow spicerianums that bear a passing resemblance to what’s in the jungle instead of this dinnerplate Dahlia.
I could but I don’t grow for awards. I just grow what I like and select.

As it turns out, one week later the dorsal is beginning to turret. See the flower pics below. You can see the bottom sides of the dorsal just starting to fold and turn outwards to face back. By a week, the full curvature would be done.

Unfortunately most of the spicerianum on the market are tainted. The hybrids grow better and look better so they were selected by breeders over the true species. I wrote a blog post about this, not sure if I have already posted it here:
Paph spicerianum

We are maintaining 2 breeding lines of the species with clear providence to jungle collected plants. Unfortunately many other breeders don't really care. I know of one who just bought a bunch of seedlings knowing they are not pure. He basically said that they were close enough.

Great article Dave.

I guess until I get a DNA study or send it to SITF, I won’t really know for sure. The provenance of this plant is that it was selected from Taiwan breeding stock from hundreds of plants that were lined bred. If the contamination of ‘Marshall’s’ did enter the line, no one knows. Other than the big dorsal that is flat on opening (but later turrets after 10 days or so), all other details of flower and plant matches the species descriptors, especially the important identifying unique staminode. Mind you, there are some Bruno’s (spicerianum x Leeanum) with this matching staminode. This will forever cast a doubt in Hercules’s true heritage (eventhough a well-known taxonomist has confirmed that Hercules is a spicerianum in his opinion).

Looking at the award pic of spicerianum ‘Marshall’, whose name has been changed to Leeanum ‘Marshall’ AM/AOS (insigne x spicerianum), it is pretty clear that the staminode is not that of a species. I guess in 1976 there wasn’t enough experts to catch this.

The mysterious ID continues...

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