September 17, 2015

Paphiopedilum helenae

This species is one of the smallest of the Paphiopedilums and a fairly recent discovery (1996).  Paphiopedilum helenae is from Vietnam and the plant is only 12 cm across with 5 cm flowers.  I've seen different examples of the species and there is considerable variation in flower color and shape, but I have not seen any that were not charming.  Interestingly, this species does best for me when grown with my Masdevallias and New Guinea Dendrobiums in cooler conditions.  Perhaps that is just due to the fact that it gets higher humidity and better light when grown with them, but it thrives and blooms under those conditions.

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