What are the differences between Cyps, Paphs and Phrags?

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smartie2000

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nah...there are ways by looking at them (without slicing up the ovaries.). Even the root habit of these plants are different.
there are just plants that have exceptions to the general discription, just like in all plant genera.
Yes it takes some experience to ID quickly, but not a lot of it. You are not going to mix a schilimi up with delenatii I hope.
 
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Kevin

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Yes it takes some experience to ID quickly, but not a lot of it. You are not going to mix a schilimi up with delenatii I hope.
No, probably no one will mistake one for the other, but how do you tell that the delenatii is a Paph and not a Phrag - looking at the flower alone. The plant habit is a give-away, as no Phrags have mottled leaves.
 

Rick

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I thought the story ended a while back, when it was established that there is no way to tell them apart by looking at them. How can you tell geography when looking at a plant and/or flower? And besides, Paphs and some Cyps both are from Asia, although not in the same habitat. Phrags and Selenipedium are both found in South America.

Looking at a lot of flower pictures you could play an odds game.

1) 90%+ of cyps have large balloon shaped pouches (lips). A couple species like C. gutta have rimless bucket like pouches.

2) 90% of paphs have rimless bucket shaped pouches. The parvis (about 10% of paph species) have balloon like pouches like the bulk of cyps.

3) 80% of phrags have a bucket shaped pouch, but with a "liner" all around the inner rim of the pouch. Granted this liner is often hard to see in standard frontal orchid porn flower photos. Besseae, Kovachii, and the schlimii group are notable exceptions with more cyp like balloon shaped pouches. However besseae and kovachii flowers are so distinctive and famous now they should be easy to remember.

I saw a previous mention of how schlimii/fisheri flower pics could be confused with delenatii/vietnamense (or for that matter Cyp. reginae) if just looking strictly at flower pictures, but we are only talking 5 of the ~150 or so species of Cyp/Paph/Phrag.

To me, all selenipedium flowers look like cyp flowers, but its rare to ever see a pick of a selenipedium flower anyway. So I wouldn't sweat those odds.

Mexipedium has a cyp like balloon shaped flower, but with the exception of say delenatii alba, (or any albino cyps), the odds would be good that you would be able to spot this one in a photo line up.

If you get to see the plants in person to look at flowers from several angles and also see the plant/leaf habit your odds can go way up.
 

Rick

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One thing that popped up in Kevins last post that I think is actually pretty cool is that the Phrag. schlimii/fisheri, Paph delenatiii/vietnamense, Cyp. reginae flower model is universally successful for attracting pollinators in N. America, S.American and Vietnam.

I think a good question would be what the pollinators are, and note how the flower size is considerably different from one species to the next.
 

VAAlbert

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You should probably add Mexipedium to this list, even though the petals are narrow. Probably all bee-pollinated.

Best,

V.
 

Lance Birk

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In order to properly identify a species it is necessary to gather ALL pertinent information. "Proper" identification can never be attained from a flower without an ovary, or without the plant, or from a single clue, or whatever.

This is why it is so important to obtain field data earned by personal explorations. Viewing bits and pieces, and old, deteriorated, brown parts of once-whole materials from ancient herb sheets is so problematic. If you cannot obtain proper habitat data you cannot just guess at the identity of a plant. (Hello CITES!)

Viewing a flower from a plant of un-proved ancestry is simply an exercise in futility. It cannot be done, yet many here continue to speculate.

As I said: It is simply a matter of geography, .... when you have ALL the parts of the puzzle.

And THIS is compounded when captive plants of unknown origin are seed propagated, ...and ESPECIALLY so when when plants like P. delenatii and the variety Dunkle are crossed. Or when P. lowii types are crossed or when it is crossed with P. haynaldianum, and when all the P. bullenianum types are crossed, etc., etc., etc.

This problem shows no indication of EVER getting simpler, only more convoluted.
 

parvi_17

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Wow I missed a lot in this thread! I decided to take a break from the forum and cool down, before things got out of hand (I never received your PMs Eric).

I would like to thank both Victor and Lance for chiming in - I was hoping some of the professionals would contribute to this discussion.

BUT I don't really have any more to say on the matter. Interesting thread at any rate.

Oh, one thing actually: I can confirm that Cribb states that Cyps are trilocular in his monograph, on page 27. So I guess this is a typo? I've never done a Cyp ovary cross-section myself, but I can accept based on what has been said here, as well as the drawings in Cribb's book, that they are in fact unilocular.
 

Rick

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In order to properly identify a species it is necessary to gather ALL pertinent information. "Proper" identification can never be attained from a flower without an ovary, or without the plant, or from a single clue, or whatever.

Very true Lance. The operative word in your post is proper, but it looks like from the earliest post that he's just looking for a quick and dirty guide to roughly ID internet pics with his dad. We just need close enough for hand grenades.
 

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