November 19, 2011

Paphiopedilum helenae

This is the smallest species in the genus, Paphiopedilum, and also one of the most recent discoveries, having been found and described in 1996.  My plant has a span of a little over 12 cm and the height of the plant with the flower is only 8 cm, a charming little thing.  The flower is between 4 and 5 cm in height and spread.  The species shows considerable color variation and this plant has a darker pouch than most I've seen.  Since its discovery it has been used in hybridizing in an attempt to produce miniature Paphiopedilums, but none of the hybrids I've seen are as nice as the species itself.

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