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littlefrog

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rad said:
love those up-turned petals!
Hmm... I would have to say that in my eyes, the turned up petals are not a positive feature. I like the rest of the flower.

Paph. Snowbird 'Robin' AM/AOS is P. Jack Tonkin x P. Diversion (you can really see the Jack Tonkin...). Awarded in 1978. No doubt quite nice for its time, and still cute. But, I think (I hope!) that if it came to the judging table today it would not be awarded. We've had the better part of thirty years of breeding and selection since this award.

Don't get me wrong, I love old clones. And I collect them... If you ever make a division, put my name on it, please.
 
G

gore42

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Hehe. I don't like complex hybrids, I won't make any secret of that :) I think along those same lines, I'd have to agree with Rad... the upturned petals are kinda cool... they're something that sets it appart from other complex hybrids that are all bred for homogeny. Homogeny isn't interesting to me. What's interesting about round and flat? :)

That said, I find just about all slippers beautiful, this one included. I just think that part of the beauty of the genus is its diversity.

As Ever,
Matthew Gore
 

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gore42 said:
Hehe. I don't like complex hybrids, I won't make any secret of that :) I think along those same lines, I'd have to agree with Rad... the upturned petals are kinda cool... they're something that sets it appart from other complex hybrids that are all bred for homogeny. Homogeny isn't interesting to me. What's interesting about round and flat? :)

That said, I find just about all slippers beautiful, this one included. I just think that part of the beauty of the genus is its diversity.

As Ever,
Matthew Gore
Man, where were you when I was trying to ask the question, "Why is round the standard?"?
 
R

rad

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the fact that the up-turned petals is not desirable (by judges) is perhaps what gives it such appeal to me. in my opinion we should value diversity and variation rather than conformity in flower shape, among other things. we have become too fixated on a specific standard. slaves to history and corectness. this is why i generally avoid hybrids, especially those that can hardly be traced back to a naturally occuring plant. they all look alike, there is no originality. we have taken these amazing phenomenons of nature and molded them so completely that nature wouldnt recognize them any longer. they are just too contrived for my taste.

odly enough, the dog breeding world seems to be doing just the opposite. new, different hybrids are ariving every day. now we have cockapoos and labradoodles. :)
 

littlefrog

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I'm always the first to say that it is what you like that is important, don't let the judges talk you out of something you like. The only thing that matters is your appreciation of the plant, it is your plant!

Why round? I don't know... It is something that comes out of the basic principles of flower judging (not just orchids). Some parts of orchid judging make sense. Humans are hard-wired to prefer symmetry (in faces, or flowers), so that is easy. Symmetrical flowers are more 'attractive' than non-symmetrical ones. And it is relatively easy to understand the fascination with size, larger is always better ('Supersize me!'), although I think that sometimes smaller is better too. Color is a pretty subjective thing, but most people prefer crisp colors to muddy ones, and a lot of people prefer bright colors to pastels (but not everybody).

Since we have to have some criteria for form, we have settled on the standard that fuller is better, and rounder is better (in most cases, we wouldn't expect a round sanderianum, for example). Full is easy, we want our flowers to most completely fill the space available (empty air is not as attractive as flower). Round... well, like I said, we need to look for something. Personally, I find a flat, round, and symmetrical complex paph to be more attractive than one that lacks one of those qualities. Poor symmetry is an instant disqualification, I won't even keep an assymetrical paph... Flat is pretty important to me, or at least as flat as possible.
 

Heather

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Hrm....I've been thinking about this for a while, since we last had some of these discussions (which I really enjoy).

I think I have a pretty hypocritical definition of why I grow the plants I grow. I joke around about being a grex whore. The thing is, I'm all for genetic diversity, and for that reason, from a conservation standpoint, I don't really care what flowers look like, I just want there to be lots of plants available for polliination and survival.

When it comes to what I grow though, I have, I think, high standards for my plants. I admit I get trememndously annoyed with a flower that doesn't live up to my standards. If a plant doesn't bloom out the best I would hope for for that grex, why should I keep it sitting there taking up 2 feet of bench space? I have definite preferences in petal stance, for example. If there's roth in the breeding and the petals aren't outstretched enough - the plant's going to have to find a new home. Same with sanderianum hybrids. If the petals aren't long enough? I'll likely be looking for a better one. Then again, I've only had one bloom, my Michael Koopowitz, which was nice but the petals aren't long enough for me to really adore it. I am waiting for a second bloom before I raid Wendy's basement though. ;)

This is a pretty recent thing for me (probably cause my plants have just finally started blooming) but I am serious about not keeping plants that don't meet my expectations. I recently sold a St. Swithin that was not acceptable, and I now have two new ones of, in my opinion, better breeding. One was purchased specifically because I have another plant with one of the parents that bloomed out spectacularly. If that parent brings it's beauty to this cross, I'm going to have one hell of a St. Swithin.

This also helps to keep things interesting for me. I'm pretty much at the end of my wish list, so as things bloom, I get excited about finding nicer examples.

Incidentally, I am much more serious about this with my Paph. multi florals (probably because the breeding standards are older and more set in stone?) than I am with my Phrags. As long as the Phrag. blooms out fairly well, I'm happy with it, but it still stands that I wouldn't keep my wallisii around for long if it had bloomed with 16" long petals. That wouldn't have met my standard for the grex.
 

littlefrog

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I think that is part of the evolution of any orchid grower, Heather. You will have limited space. Always room for one more, but still... As you learn more about the type of plant you love, you will start to form preferences, and tend to keep the ones that match your standards and delete the ones that don't. That is actually orchid judging... Congratulations, you are officially an orchid judge. You and everybody else who takes the time to compare two plants and choose one is an orchid judge...

As you bloom out more and more plants, you will improve your collection and make it more closely fit your idea of 'perfection'. Of course that needs to bear no resemblence to my idea of perfection. And, ten years from now the plants that you thought were awesome may no longer be quite as awesome in your eyes. That is fine too. Standards change, and breeding changes, too.
 
J

Jmoney

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classic cultivar. bet it looks even better in a few weeks as the yellow fades to white.
 

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