Rothschildianum and Besseae. Why? Because they take the best from each and display them elegantly. The quality of the breeding has produced awesome clones of each. They are also cornerstones in each of their respective genus in terms of breeding. Hard question though. Picking just one ain't easy.
Those are the two I was thinking, also, roth. and besseae - but ARE they the BEST examples for a beginner?
I am working on a presentation: "An introduction to growing slipper orchids" I don't want to picture just a maudiae and a phrag hybrid in my intro though - not at the beginning of the presentation - they may be good for beginners but they don't stress the amazing-ness of the genera, imo. Maybe at the end, with photos of some easier things to start with, but not the "quintessential" images. Something like wallisii might be good also for a Phrag.
For a beginner, I think that both culture and "typical" should be combined. For paphs, I would say either insigne or callosum. Both are very typical of the main types of paphs, and both are easy to grow, especially insigne. Neither are spectacular, but neither are plain or ugly either...a good compromise. roth is too atypical...its multifloral while most paphs are unifloral, its not easy for a rank amateur to grow and bloom, and its expensive...I don't care what they say about how its more affordable now than ever, its still expensive for most people, unless they buy a seedling that may well not bloom until their future grandchilds bar mitzvah. For phrags, pearcei sounds good enough to me...I'd prefer caudatum, but that is not always the easiest to grow, but to me it typifies the "phrag" (I started growing phrags in the pre-besseae days...), but I could also go along with besseae...unlike roth, besseae has become manageable in price and definitely easier to bloom. Take care, Eric
But if you were to want to WOW people with a species in the "quintessential" part? I just don't think insigne cuts it. I agree that roth. is not a beginner plant but it is THE king of Paphs so I think it may be my pick.
I'd never put in either sanderianum nor kovachii. Both are tremendously more difficult to grow - we don't even understand how kovachii grows yet!
I also will say that Glen Decker is giving the follow up presentation to mine, on Sunday, so I am hoping he is going to speak to kovachii. It is tempting to want to discuss future breeding trends but not something for the amateur.
I put callosum in the culture part. I'm wanting to go with roth. and bess. for the "best" example of the genus though.
Is there a way to post a power point presentation on a forum? anyone know?
Thinking aloud…. There is probably a serious discrepancy between what best represents each genus and what is the easiest to grow. I’ve given up on the concept of “easy growers” though, as that doesn’t seem to make it or break it for me personally. It seems like besseae is a good choice as long as you impress upon the buyer the importance of constant pure water (no slip ups) and only light fertilizer. Roths are awesome, obviously, but I wonder if delenatii, callosum or sukhakulii might in fact be the better choices… philippinense if you want a solid green-leafed guy. It’s all relative though, and there’s nothing you’ll grow better than the plants you’re flipped-out excited about, whether they’re “easy to grow” or not. Seeing something you like personally and reading everything about how to make it happy that you can get your paws on is what’s called for. I don’t see any plants as disposable, perhaps illustrating how “green” I am after only seven years of growing these guys.
Personally, it’s malipoense and schlimii I’d take to the desert island with me, and then we’d all fade from the heat! Also, the promise of the fragrances of the latter two might be an additional incentive to not kill them…raspberries and roses—nice!
All that said, roth and besseae do make the most sense visually, based on common consensus mainly.
Robin - (and I know, I owe you a long email but had to work on this today! Tomorrow hopefully I will get to it! Although, I have something else to email you about tonight...more on that in a few...)
I love your comments. It is subjective and I need to incorporate those ideas into my talk - thank you for reminding me! I'm so into multis and it is only since getting out of Paphs and Phrags that I've begun to really appreciate other things too - other genera and other Paphs (parvis, go figure...)
I was thinking seriously about delenatii as well as callosum and sukhakulii. We all seem to be on the same page with regards to "easy" growers and things that may likely be in spike and available at the show I am presenting at. P. phil. was my other thought - just because it is a pretty easy multi to bloom and grow as long as you have good light.
Robin, your comment about the desert island pushed me into a fit of giggles. Not sure all three of you would make it, really. Sorry! :sob:
No, I doubt we’d make it. I’d have a case of the vapors before the other two I think…saw my blood pressure at a local Schnuck’s this past week (right after a glass of Shiraz at Uno’s even) and about made funerary plans to save those close to me the trouble.
And I assure you my sentiments are very skewed. I appreciate the grandeur of the multi-florals but love parvis and cyps best, and schlimii reminds me of reginae.
I for one would certainly favor P phil over P roth.
Roth is like a one hit wonder of a species, and is difficult and expensive.
With P phil, you get several varieties, including the album, and the twisty petals of the var P roeb. are unusual and appealing. I don't deny roth can be impressive, but I don't even remember ever seeing a real one, just photos or hybrids. It seems roth is over rated due to its scarcity.
As far as smaller uniflora types, You can't go wrong with suk for a species. It carries thru in its hybrids too, and is easier to grow.
I see the appeal of delenatii too, beautiful in bloom and great foilage.
For Phrags I support the besseae camp..... big wow factor,and even a yellow cultivar.
This thread took an interesting turn when 'beginner' came into it. I basically agree with other recommendations BUT wouldn't lieminianum need to be considered? I, as a beginner, was a windowsill grower. I had every exposure but in the house the humidity requirements need to be considered also. It does not have high light demands, it has pretty foliage when not in bloom & once it starts blooming, it's always in bloom! ????
Species are specified BUT aren't there many hybrids that are easier?
The most impressive Paph species is Paph rothschildianum and for Phrag it is probably Phrag kovachii. Neither can be considered an easy grower for a beginner......
Good beginner species are Paph sukhakulii and Phrag longifolium which are both extremely vigorous and easy to bloom.
If you say beginners, do you mean first time orchidgrowers or first time slippergrowers. For a first time orchid grower I would imagine that the price at which certain species are available could be a put-off. Maybe something to consider when recommanding starter slippers...
Concerning typical Phrag: What about a nice longifolium? Yes, the plants can get relatively big. But the flowers vary from greenish-yellow to reddish-braun, with nice wide-spread sepals. Older specimens are more multifloral in habitat and they are relatively easy to grow.
Tough question, especially with regard to Phrags. There are the small, roundish ones (besseae, schlimii...), the long-petals (caudatum group), and the longifolium-types. To me, they are all very different. I suppose the same can be said of Paphs.
But why do you have to limit yourself to one of each? Why not show the variety? Wouldn't it be more confusing to beginners to think they are all like one?