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Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2006
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Halls Gap,Western Victoria, Australia
When orchids are collect from the wild generally the normal colored forms are found. Then, an alba ( for the want of a better term ) is found.
For example, Paph lawrenceanum fma Hyeanum which is green & white apart from the normal red lawrenceanum.
While the original plant collected retains that name, SHOULD it apply to plants raised from a "selfing" of that plant.
The reason I ask is that through conversations over the years, most of the responses I have received suggest that, regardless of the plant being a species or not, once you self it, the possibility of the influence of other genes within the plant could & will, influence the outcome.
For this example, the resultant plants will be green as per the parent BUT variations in color, shape and markings will be observed even though they may be minute.
Thus, being 'different' to the original, should they carry the varietal/forma name of the original???
This would also apply to colored forms.
I think the answer to this is that if it is a validly published variety, it doesn't matter how you get progeny as long as you stay within that variety (selfing or sibbing). And yes, varieties have to be formally published just like species to be valid, a lot of people just tack 'var alba' onto a plant and it doesn't actually count. It is descriptive, of course, but it isn't actually a valid taxonomic identification.

A variety or form of a species should be a naturally occurring sub-population, not a single clone. If it is a single clone, it should be given a clonal name, not a variety. And yes, if you self or sib a clone, you should not market the offspring with the same clonal name, they are obviously different.
If I understand you correctly, I think you agree. The reason I raised this thread is that I constantly see in catalogs, (example only) P.lawrenceanum var Hyeanum ' xxyyya' = an added clonal name which is wrong in being there. It suggests that this form of lawrenceanum is better or something special. If the lawrenceanum is a true 'Hyeanum' then it should be identical to every other clone of that plant. The only difference that can be made is in the culture of the plant. If it is better or has something different about it then it is NOT 'Hyeanum' or whatever specific species it is. I believe that nurseries that do this sort of thing are just conning the buyers.

You can have many many clones of one variety of a plant, some being more aesthetic than others. All the clone means is a unique individual genetically, no matter what variety, form, or subspecies it is.

If I self a lawrenceanum v. hyeanum, every plant produced that fits the definition of an albino will be lawrenceanum v. hyeanum. If the plant is not a true albino, it will be whatever variety its appearance fits the description of.

Jon, I've been pondering your answer. I understand some of what you say but please remind me never to buy any species form you. If you have a geniune piece of a species, like Hyeanum, and someone else comes along with one that has any variation, cultural differences excepted, then clearly, one plant has the wrong name on it.
the trouble with all of this is that many species have significant genetic variability within them. this is especially apparent in the slippers since they can't be cloned, so you can't control completely the genes which are inherited. and the trouble with clonal names is that they really can be given to only one plant or its divisions. the other trouble with this is that selfings aren't the same as their parent, and do have some variability.

so the way I see it, plants that have the phenotype of the species should clearly be given that name. plants with the phenotype of the variety should be named as such. offspring of the variety should be just called by the species name, until they are proven to be of the variety phenotype. clonal names can be applied, but aren't heritable.

examples (using made up names): paph roth var alba 'awesome-o' x roth var alba 'even better' = paph roth 'can't tell until it blooms.'

paph roth var alba 'awesome-o' x self = paph roth 'also can't tell until it blooms'

paph roth 'lame-o' x paph roth var alba 'awesome-o' = paph roth 'probably also lame, but still can't tell'

experts, did I get this right?
Ok, my apologies for being a bit rough with this topic with some members as they were right ( Jon ). The following reply gives a little more detailed answer which answers my question. I just received this in an e-mail.
Dear Lee,

at first you must notice the difference between clonal names and the taxonomical level of a variety or forma.

Variety and forma are fixed as names by an official description, published in a official journal or book, documeted also by a herbar-specimen.

Clonal names are only names for a specific plant given by the owner. When you divide this plant you can give so this clonal name also to this plant.

You can find some clonal names for

Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum

examples are

Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Bernice’ get an AM 1978
Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Albino Jamboree’ get an HCC 1993
Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Candor Jade Crown’ get an AM 1995
Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Candor Peridot’ get an AM 1996
Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Green Aurora’ get an HCC 1997
Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Kaleidoscope’ get HCC 1999
All these are different clones, but all are Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum.

The description of this colour variety without any red colour was published the first time 1885 by Linden and Rodigas

The official name is now:

Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum forma hyeanum

When you make now a selfing of Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum, you could get albine clones with the official name lawrenceanum forma hyeanum, because the definiton is that these are Paph. lawrenceanum plants without any red coloration. But these seedlings have not the same clonal name. On the other hand you cannot be sure that the result will be totally albine, the coloured forms are then the normal lawrenceanum without any variety or forma – name.
In some species you have the good luck with 100 % albines like in Paph. delenatii, Paph. hennisianum, Paph. wardii.
The normal way is after a selfing: Write on the falsk with seedlings or the labels Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Excellent’ X self.

When the seedlings are in flower then you can give an own cloneal name, like Paph. lawrenceanum forma hyeanum ‘Excalibur’

Best greetings and I hope that I could help a bit


Olaf Gruß ( Olaf Gruss )

In der Au 48

83224 Grassau