Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, on display at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.  The wild species is from high upon the slopes of Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo.  Select, line-bred specimens of this orchid species may sell for thousands of dollars, and are significantly fuller in shape and larger than the original wild species.  Seed-based propagation generally reduces pressure on wild populations of orchid species, particularly as horticultural varieties are improved through selective breeding to be both easier to grow in cultivation and also typically more attractive, as select traits are reinforced through line breeding.  This particular specimen is already several generations behind current breeding trends, as can be easily seen by web searching for photos of this species.

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