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...