Venustum or Venus Rising?

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TrevorNW

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Hello everyone. I've been following this great forum for a while, but this is my first post. I'm a windowsill grower in north Wales, UK, and have been building up my limited collection recently. P venustum was one of the first sp I grew (at the tender age of 12!) and wanted to grow it again so purchased a plant from a vendor on ebay. This plant has now flowered:











Now, it's a superb little thing and I'm really happy with it, but I don't think it's pure venustum. What do you think? By chance, another UK vendor was selling plants of Venus Rising at the same time. I've also bought one of these - it's not flowered yet but internet photos of it look identical to this one.
 

NYEric

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Welcome to the forum from NYC. I don't know which it is but one of the species growers on the forum should be able to help. :)
 
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Trithor

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Venus Rising is a Makuli hybrid, (involving venustum in a small portion) I see no reason to doubt that this is venustum. I would be happy to consider it a venustum, and a good one at that!
 

PaphMadMan

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Not Venus Rising. That glimpse of foliage and the little turned back upper edge of the petals is right for venustum, and would be unlikely in Venus Rising no matter how much the flower has a general resemblance.

Overall, I would accept it as venustum. The only thing that might make me question it is that venustum's pouch sometimes is more bulbous and usually has more prominent veins. There is always a chance of some other hybrid, but it would have to be something with venustum on both sides of the family tree.
 

abax

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I'd accept it as a good venustum. The petals aren't reflexed and the color
is very nice. It's a better one than I have...wanna trade?

Welcome to ST from KY.
 

TrevorNW

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Thank you so much for your replies. It was the pouch that worried me really - I was expecting something more bulbous, green and with more prominent veins. The second bud has also opened now, something I also didn't think was a venustum character:



I'm thrilled you all concur it's venustum as I love it. Looks like selection & breeding in this species has developed it a bit since I last grew it 33 years ago!

BTW - I don't grow all my Paphs in gold-coloured pots, that's just to keep the better half happy!


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John M

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Welcome to SlipperTalk, Trevor!

Sorry; but, I'm going to rain on your parade. I have followed this thread with interest and surprise at some of the comments. I believe that the provinence of this flower is HIGHLY suspect and I would never consider it to be pure venustum. The veining on the pouch is the most distinctive feature of venustum. There are other species with striped dorsals, raspberry/red coloured petal tips and petal spots; but, the veining (to the degree that it is found on venustum), is unique to only venustum. This flower lacks the most notable defining element of venustum....that crazy veining, reminding one of brains. I believe it is a hybrid; probably Paph. Christmas Cheer (venustum x argus). Or, it could even be Christmas Cheer crossed back onto venustum. Not only is the veining lacking; but, there is a very un-venustum-like overlay of chocolate brown on the pouch. So, to me, it's not only a case of pale coloured veins; but, also the addition of another non-venustum trait added to the mix.

Also, the fact that you are located in the U.K. tells me that this plant probably came from a nursery in Europe. There are a number of BIG nurseries that produce pot plant Paphs there. Many of them just don't care about accurate naming. They source nice plants that are suitable for the trade; to be sold in grocery stores and florist shops and they propagate them by the thousands and thousands. They often use plants that are not named; or, they add their own name. They've done this with yellow primulinum. The primulinum coming out of Europe and saturating the world market are spectacular plants with huge, wonderful flowers. They are great house plants. But, they've been produced by crossing true primulinum with alba forms of other Cochlopetalums. Because the offspring looked like prinulinum on steroids, they just called them primulinum and sold them with that name. Nowadays, it's really hard to find a true, purebred yellow primulinum.

Seeing the pouch on your flower and assuming that it came from a Euorpean nursery, makes me almost completely certain that it is not pure venustum. European producers grow and sell some awesome plants; but, you just can't trust the names. The mentality of many Dutch growers in particular is that the true name does not matter. In fact, it's seen as a business advantage to put their own company names on the plants that they sell because then they are promoting a "line" of products that appears to be unique to them. Or, they like to call a hybrid that looks a lot like a species by that species name. It's easier to grow, maturing more quickly, which is an advantage for them and most of the public who buy them won't know the difference between what they've got and the true-blooded species.

Years ago, the Dutch producers flooded the world market with Phal. leucorhoda hybrids. The problem was that leucorhoda is a hybrid, not a species. So, it should be spelled with a capital "L". Also, what they called leucorhoda was in actual fact, Phal. philippinensis! It created a huge lot of messy confusion in the orchid world to have all these phals out in the trade with the wrong name on them. Judges and awarding bodies like the RHS and AOS, etc., had a hell of a time sorting out what was bogus and what was correct.

Growing nursery plants is big business in some parts of the world. For companies that are more interested in the bottom line, rather than being taxonomically correct; or even horticulturally correct, messing with the names is not an issue.....and they do it all the time.
 

Trithor

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I think everyone has reservations based on the pouch, but it is difficult to come up with another cross that is available which would generate the same result. Whatever the alternative is, it is strongly venustum, not just a simple primary like argus x venustum. The question is, is anyone selling a possible hybrid commercially?
 

John M

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I think everyone has reservations based on the pouch, but it is difficult to come up with another cross that is available which would generate the same result.
That's the problem with trying to identify complex hybrids. Once you get past considering primaries, the job becomes a WHOLE lot more difficult, and more often than not, it is impossible.

Trithor said:
Whatever the alternative is, it is strongly venustum, not just a simple primary like argus x venustum. Agreed. But, it's always easier to say what a plant is not, rather than what it is. I think that this is not pure venustum; but, I can't say without reservation what it actually is. If it were mine, I'd put a question mark beside the venustum name and just enjoy it, as it is; but, I'd never use it in breeding.
 

SlipperKing

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To me this plant screams hybrid. I've had a number of venustum hybrids over the years and all looked like well taylored venustums. In the 90's OZ made a number of Maudiae type/ venustum hybrids. As I said, they looked like a well taylored venustum but larger flowers. Do so measurements and get back to us. You'll probably find out the sizes are out of range even for the best venustums.
Selective line breeding would capitallize on the fantastic veining of the pouch as well as other features not mute them out as in this pouch.
 

Trithor

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Too true, that is why I commented that it would be interesting to see how it breeds (not that anyone will wait around for the results) I was not aware that much 'Maudiae' breeding had been done with venustum, but that certainly looks like the lineage.
 

John M

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Yes, the pouch screams "I'm not venustum". The trouble with there being Maudiae in the backgrownd, or just callosum, or just lawrenceanum, is that I'd expect to see a much larger dorsal in this flower. However, if Makuli is a parent, then, sukhakulii will bring down the dorsal size quite a bit.

I've done some more investigation.

Here's a Venus Rising from the Internet: http://http://hybridorchid.la.coocan.jp/Paphiopedilum/Paphiopedilum%20Venus%20Rising/DSC08793.JPG

It looks a LOT like the flower in this thread!

Venus Rising is: Makuli x Venus Hold.

Makuli is:
sukhakulii x (callosum x lawrenceanum)

Venus Hold is:
venustum x (callosum x (callosum x lawrenceanum))

Both Sukhakulii and venustum will bring down the dorsal size a lot. Also, whenever you use vensutum in hybridizing, the pouch veins are NEVER carried over anywhere nearly as intensely. However, the rest of the vensutum characteristics, petal spots, dorsal shape, size and stripes, pink petal tips; are carried over. Whenever you use callosum, or lawrenceanum, or their hybrid, Maudiae, the chocolate brown pouch colour IS carried over very well.

I'm changing my mind. I don't think there's something like argus in this. I do think that it is Venus Rising, or a hybrid with Venus Rising. Whatever it is, which we cannot say for sure, IMO, it is not pure venustum.
 

TrevorNW

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Thank you all so much; it's a fascinating discussion and your contributions and detail is much appreciated, especially about the characteristic venustum lip not being carried over into hybrids. That would explain a lot!

As mentioned initially, another ebay vendor had Venus Rising for sale around the same time. It was illustrated with the photo in the link John M has posted. I brought it before buying the "venustum" pictured here and, although it's a while away from flowering at the moment, it will provide a good comparison when it does. By the way, the foliage of both plants is identical. I now suspect both vendors actually got their plants from the same source, it's just that one called them "venustum" and the other one Venus Rising. So it might turn out that I have two plants of this, whatever it is!

The flowers are big - 11cm across and 9cm tall.

I'll contact the vendor and enquire about the source, just to clear up where it comes from. He actually has a large range of very 'specialist' orchids available, including many multifloral paphs, cattleyas, masdevallias and other interesting species, not the sort of things you'd get in a supermarket, garage or garden centre.

Whatever it turns out to be, I like it a lot. But I must admit to being a tad disappointed; I find the species have a charm and elegance missing in many hybrids. And, of course, I've been sold something that's not what it was advertised as, a bit like getting a Ford when you've ordered a Ferrari (ok, not quite!).


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PaphMadMan

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Those measurements are within the upper size range for awarded venustum, big but certainly not impossible unless a third of awarded venustum are misidentified.

I'm not arguing that it is venustum, but I think a lot has been said based on a single flower. We don't even know if this is a typical flower for this plant. The pouch doesn't fit the common mental image of vensutum, but the leaves, staminode, petals and dorsal are all pretty typical. It is likely that cultivated plants have been selected for veins since the species is distinctive for that. That doesn't necessarily mean that every plant will look like that.

That fact is that we can never really be certain that any multi-generation cultivated plant is really what the tag says it is, and all those plants have been selected for characteristics that are not typical of the species.
 

Stone

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The leaves are pure venustum. If it were a hybrid, I doubt the leaves would hold that venustum pattern. But it may have something else in it from several generations ago.
 

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