Phrag. exstaminodium Revisited

Discussion in 'Taxonomy' started by Drorchid, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. Apr 7, 2010 #1
    In a different post we were having a debate regarding the authenticity of Phrag. exstaminodium, based on a plant of Phrag. exstaminodium 'Gandalf' x self.

    Jean-Pierre (and now myself) are questioning the authenticity of the original "Gandalf" clone and think it may be a hybrid between exstaminodium and another Long Petaled Phrag. Rick on the other hand is defending the original "Gandalf" clone, and just thinks it is within the natural variation of the species to be a little different , and does believe it to be the real thing.

    Here is some more background info regarding the differences of exstaminodium and popowii:
    http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12240

    I reposted my latest thread here so we can continue the debate in the Taxonomy section:

    I think that as exstaminodium is still so rare in cultivation (Just do a google search; how many pictures of exstaminodium can you find on the internet? and I personally have only seen exstaminodium twice), the chances that many people have made this cross are slim. We just recently got our plants from Dixler himself, who originally made the cross, and it is the first time I have seen them, so thus far I know it has only been made once.

    To answer your other question, no I doubt that caudatum was a recessive carrier for the non-staminode trait.

    Going back to our 'Gandalf' x self; Here is my take on things: I have the same questions as Jean-Pierre (Phrag-Plus) has, regarding the authenticity of this plant (Is it a true exstaminodium or a hybrid between another long-petaled species). The reason I am saying this, is because like mentioned in a previous post, 'Gandalf' originated in a batch of seedlings that were originally labeled as "wallisii" but when they started blooming they noticed that they were not "wallisii" and because they were lacking staminodes they just assumed they were "exstaminodiums". But who knows for sure what they really are, as having "no staminode" is shown to be dominant, it could very well be a F1 hybrid of wallisii x exstaminodium.

    Other clues that make me think that, is becasue when I compare our exstaminodium 'Extraordinary' with the ('Gandalf' x self) seedling the ("Gandalf' x self) seedling has a much smaller and skinnier pouch that looks more "wallisii" like; the pouch is lighter in color, The dorsal sepal is all green and lacks any dark pigments (as our exstamindoum 'Extraordinary' clone did have some brown pigments in the dorsal), the stance of the petals are different. In exstaminodium they are supposed to hang more in-front of the pouch at an angle. In this ('Gandalf' x self) clone they hang more behind the pouch. And the most important thing is that it lacks the little "dents" or "pock marks" on the pouch that differentiates the Central American species (both popowii and exstaminodium) from the South American species (both walllisii and caudatum have smooth pouches).

    Just for comparison:

    pouch of exstaminodium 'Extraordinary':
    [​IMG]

    pouch of exstaminodium ('Gandalf' x self):
    [​IMG]

    pouch of popowii:
    [​IMG]

    pouch of wallisii:
    [​IMG]

    The problem is we never will know for sure (unless we do some DNA analysis) what the true origin is of the 'Gandalf' clone (and its siblings) is. At this point it is just speculation, but myself (based on observation) am leaning towards it being a hybrid.
     
  2. Apr 7, 2010 #2

    KyushuCalanthe

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    I think I like 'Extraordinary' and wallisii the best.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2010 #3

    Rick

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    This brings up some other questions. In Koopowitz's new book he says "hybrids of exstaminodium have normal staminodes...recesive trait". So what hybrids is he refering too. The flask marked "wallisii" perportedly originated from Paphinatics who Koopowitz maintained a working relationship with. So what do Norito and Koopowitz know that we are speculating about?

    Also assuming Gandalf is an F1 hybrid, we are now blooming out f2 selfings. Should we expect a lot more variation (presently you have the only bloom from this batch that I know of) as we see more of this breeding if it is a hybrid?
     
  4. Apr 8, 2010 #4

    smartie2000

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    interesting...
    If there are few plants in cultivation, I would expect the genetic diversity to be low and the plants to look all similar, looking similar to 'Extraordinary'
    Also expecially if all plants are selfing themselves in the wild as well.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2010 #5

    Rick

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    With the comparison of pouches I think the amount of hair on the pouch throat is about the same for the exstams and popowei, but totally absent in wallisii. Also the wallisii pouch opening flares out around the opening which is not present in caudatum/popowei.

    I've seen a lot of variation in amount of pigment for caudatum and popowei to not get too excited about lack or not as indicative of genetic dilution with wallisii.

    But the hair structures are significant IMHO.

    Can you get a close-up of a Julius Dixler and straight caudatum for pouch comparison?

    Extrordianary and popowii have stripes in the hairy throat area, while Gandalf has spots (wallisii is blank). From the pics of Julius I can see spots in that same region, but can't tell if its hairy or not.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2010 #6

    Rick

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    You would probably see a lot of similarity in a given patch of plants given the self polination. But who knows have many "patches" of this plant are there in the wild that have been accessed by collectors?

    Also we are not accounting for variation due to cultivation conditions(temp and feeding regime) which we have seen from the same individual plants on different seasons could be significant (especially with respect to color).

    Paph sanderianum probably has a slightly larger range than exstaminodium, but think of all the crazy variations we've seen in that species on this site.

    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jlc314/Phrag. warscewiczianum.html
    Here's a link to another somewhat paler version of popowii
     
  7. Apr 8, 2010 #7

    Rick

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    For even more variations refer to the "exstaminodium" pictures in either:

    An Annotated Checklist of the Genus Phragmipedium by Lucile McCook 1998

    Orchid digest Vol 67 (4) A Checklist of the Genus Phragmipedium by Olaf Gruss (fall 2003).

    Given the dates of these publications these pics cannot be of Gandalf but the picture of the flower that Olaf took looks much more like Gandalf than Extraordinary. It has a relatively narrow pouch, with the top half dark going to green on the bottom half.

    The picture in McCook's article looks like a very pale version of Extraordinary, with more green than brown on the pouch, but the pouch is rounder and has the wider petal stance.

    The photo credits for these particular flowers go to the respective authors themselves, but the source of the plants is not given.
     
  8. Apr 8, 2010 #8

    NYEric

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    There are obvious differences between "Extraordinary" and "Gandalf x self" especially around the part connected to the ovaries, sorry I'm not savy in the parlance! :p
     
  9. Apr 8, 2010 #9
    Julius Dixler is not blooming yet, but here are two close ups of caudatum (2 different plants):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and for comparison here is Stairway to Heaven (popowii x warszewiczianum aka wallisii):

    [​IMG]

    Now that I have looked at the pouch of caudatum I don't rule out that Gandalf could be caudatum x exstaminodium, so I would be a Julius Dixler. It will be interesting to compare our Julius Dixlers with the 'Gandalf' x self. They should be open in a few weeks.

    Robert
     
  10. Apr 8, 2010 #10

    NYEric

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    Argh! My eyes! Too much green phrag!! :p
    Just kidding, the wallisii is causing major growing reconsiderations!!! :drool:
     
  11. Apr 8, 2010 #11
    Eric you make a good point! I had not noticed it before, but if you look at the 'Gandalf' x self flower, you see a little rudimentary appendage where the staminode should be. This is lacking in the 'Extraordinary' clone. Also you can tell the stance of the pollinia are different if you compare the two. On 'Extraordinary' they seem to be more elongated and have better contact with the staminode. Also notice the difference in color. On 'Extraordinary' there is some brown pigment at the base of the pollinia. This is totally lacking in the 'Gandalf' x self.

    I zoomed in on those areas:

    'Gandalf' x self:
    [​IMG]

    'Extraordinary':
    [​IMG]

    Robert
     
  12. Apr 8, 2010 #12

    Rick

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    Based on the throat pouch hairs and flared pouch opening, that would be more believable than a "wallisii" cross.

    Caudatum is highly variable in the amount of "flare" to the pouch opening, so not sure how much I'd expect it to come through in the next generation.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2010 #13

    Ernie

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    FWIW, Joe brought two Phrag. Mem. Julius Dixlers to judging maybe this time last year. One was a mustard yellow color and the other was greener. After looking at a TON of award images for caudatum, and reading a lot, and much discussion, seemed like they were more or less identical to the range of what one would expect from caudatum sibs, but they lacked staminodes. We gave the pair a shared JC for their curiosity and novelty.

    -Ernie
     
  14. Apr 9, 2010 #14

    NYEric

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    I wouldn't think the color would be a distinguishing factor but the structural differences are. If there is a photo of the "originally" described extaminodium then one could compare these to the type photo and determine which is the true species.
     
  15. Apr 11, 2010 #15

    Phrag-Plus

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    Very interesting points and thank you for sharing those photos... I'm please to get the chance and opportunity to see them. Even if I was convicted about the misidentification of the pod parents, after seeing the self it’s just reinforce my first thought and observations.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2010 #16
    History of cultivated Phrag. exstaminodium in the US.

    OK I found out some history of some of the existing exstaminodiums here in the US. The information actually comes from Leo Schordje (who is also a member here), so he can correct me if I get something wrong.

    The original plants of Phrag. exstaminodium were collected by Sterling Dickinson of San Cristobel, Chiapas Mexico. He was an early conservationist/orchid collector and probably never took more than 3 plants out of the wild. In the late 1970's he traded some divisions of these plants with Lilian Severin here in the United States (This was all pre-1988, so no CITES laws and regulations were in effect). When Lilian passed away (around 1993) Joe Dixler of Higland Park, IL. got a plant from her collection. He made several seedpods using this plant (4 selfings and one hybrid onto a standard caudatum). Antec and Paphanatics got 2 or 3 pods a piece. Leo Schordje was the middleman for Antec and sold some of these flasks to other nursery people and collectors.

    Jerry Fischer (from Orchids Limited) bought two flasks from Paphanatics (they were both labeled as exstaminodium x self) and from those seedlings only one eventually survived, which is our Phrag. exstaminodium 'Extraordinary'. We were able to self this plant and get lots of seedlings.

    Now the following part is speculation on my part: When the owner from Orchidbabies bought a flask from Paphanatics, he was buying a flask of Phrag. wallisii. Now when these plants started blooming they did not look like regular wallisii's. They were darker and were lacking a staminode. As Paphanatics at the time also had exstaminodium flasks they put two and two together and assumed the flasks were mislabeled and that he had bought a flask of straight exstaminodium instead of wallisii. Harold looked at the plant 'Gandalf' when it was taken to a show and confirmed that it was an exstaminodium. Harold believed at the time that lacking a staminode was a recessive trait (now we know it is dominant, as all Phrag. Memoria Julius Dixlers (caudatum x exstaminodium) are lacking staminodes) so seeing this plant without a staminode he assumed it was a straight exstaminodium. Now I believe that instead of being a straight exstaminodium, the flask that orchidbabies got may have very well have originated from the other seedpod that Joe had given to Paphanatics which was the hybrid: (caudatum x exstaminodium). This explains why our 'Gandalf' x self does not look like a straight exstaminodium, and has some characteristics of a regular caudatum.

    Robert
     
  17. Apr 13, 2010 #17

    NYEric

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    Could be. Feels like I'm on "Orchid Detectives!" :rollhappy:
     
  18. Apr 16, 2010 #18

    Rick

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    A few small changes to the story. Earl obtained the Gandalf and Woton plants as near blooming size seedlings from the Kaufmans collection in 2003. These seedlings were labeled as wallisii, but apparently had documentation that they were from a flask from Paphinatics.

    So there's about a 10 year gap from when Paphinatics picked up seed from Dixler and Orchid babies recieved NBS seedlings from the Kaufmans. So there could be one more generation between any original Dixler "Julius"cross. From the pics I've seen of the Dixlers that Ernie is refering too, Gandalf and the selfings of it we are seeing of it in bloom now, are considerably darker. So we may be looking at back-crossed Dixlers if the hybrid hypothesis holds.

    Also keep in mind that in the late 90's Koopowitz was a partner in Paphinatics, so I would think his statement about the recessive character of no-staminode in his recent publication would be based on more than just the observations of a single stray plant coming back from a mislabeled flask from his own operation. Especially since he should have been aware that they had received Dixler seed in the first place.
     
  19. Apr 16, 2010 #19

    Rick

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    I looked up the photos in the Chicago newsletters and these Dixlers are muddy mustard yellow and green in both pouch and petals, and not nearly as dark as Gandalf or its progeny.

    Unfortunately the photos do not have a good enough close up to see any rudimentary (acerose) staminodes.
     
  20. Apr 16, 2010 #20
    Thanks for the corrections Rick (like I said I was just speculating at that point)! As the plants that Earl obtained from the Kaufmans were labeled as wallisii, we will never know for sure what they really are. I wonder why Koopowitz believed the "no-staminode" characteristic was a recessive trait. Thus far I know only 2 hybrids have been made with exstaminodium; Phrag. Memoria Julius Dixler (caudatum x exstaminodium); these tend to all lack staminodes, and Phrag. Extra Rich (richteri x exstaminodium), but this hybrid was not registered until 2008. I have not seen any pictures of this hybrid, so cannot comment on if it has a staminode or not.

    Robert
     

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