Paphiopedilum, often called the Venus slipper, is a genus of the lady slipper orchid subfamily Cypripedioideae of the flowering plant family Orchidaceae. The genus comprises some 80 accepted taxa including several natural hybrids. The genus is native to Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, southern China, New Guinea and the Solomon and Bismarck Islands. The type species of this genus is Paphiopedilum insigne.[2][3][4]

Venus slipper
Paphiopedilum henryanum
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Genus: Paphiopedilum
Type species
Paphiopedilum insigne

7, see text

About 80 species
  • Cordula Raf.
  • Menephora Raf.
  • Stimegas Raf.

The species and their hybrids are extensively cultivated, and are known as either paphiopedilums, or by the abbreviation paphs in horticulture.

Due to their popularity, Paphiopedilums have been ruthlessly gathered and poached from the wild, making them very rare or extinct there. As soon as a new species or population is discovered, poachers will take the plants for orchid collectors who pay large sums of money. Habitat destruction is an additional factor contributing to their rarity.[5][6][7]

Description edit

Paphiopedilum hennisianum flower, showing detail of the staminode (click to magnify)

Paphiopedilum species naturally occur among humus layers as terrestrials on the forest floor, while a few are true epiphytes and some are lithophytes. These sympodial orchids lack pseudobulbs. Instead, they grow robust shoots, each with several leaves; some are hemicryptophytes. The leaves can be short and rounded or long and narrow and typically have a mottled pattern. When older shoots die, newer ones take over. Each new shoot only blooms once when it is fully grown, producing a raceme between the fleshy, succulent leaves. The roots are thick and fleshy. Potted plants form a tight lump of roots that, when untangled, can be up to 1 m long.

Members of this genus are considered highly collectible by orchid fanciers due to the curious and unusual form of their flowers. Along with Cypripedium, Mexipedium, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium, the genus is a member of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the "lady's-slippers" or "slipper orchids" due to the unusual shape of the pouch-like labellum of the flower. The pouch traps insects seeking nectar, and to leave again they have to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia. Orchids of this genus are notoriously difficult to propagate by tissue culture; as of 2016, commercial cultivation is almost exclusively seed-based.[8] This means every plant is unique.

Paphiopedilum fairrieanum Orchid from Eastern Himalayas, India

Members of this genus have unusual stomata. Whereas most land plants' stomata have guard cells with chloroplasts in their cytoplasm (including those of closely related Phragmipedium slipper orchids), Paphiopedilum stomata do not. This difference results in simpler, but weaker control of stomatal function.[9] For example, most plants close their stomata in response to either blue or red light, but Paphiopedilum guard cells only respond to blue light.[10] The fact that they lack chloroplasts has made them valuable to researchers investigating stomatal function. For example, it enabled the discovery of intracellular events that precede stomatal closure.[11]

One of the "Miya" hybrid Paphiopedilum cultivars bred by T. Ozawa

In horticulture edit

The paphiopedilums are among the most widely cultivated and hybridized of orchid genera. Spectacular new species are being discovered every now and then; for example the golden slipper orchid (P. armeniacum), discovered in 1979 and described in 1982, amazed growers of orchids by the extraordinary beauty of its golden flowers. In addition, growers have bred thousands of interspecific hybrids and registered them with the Royal Horticultural Society in London over the years.

Paphiopedilums are terrestrial and evergreen in growth habit, and by careful selection of species and hybrids, it is possible to have a flowering period extending over nine months of the year.[12] They can be grown indoors, as long as conditions that mimic their natural habitats are created. Most species thrive in moderate to high humidity (50–70%), moderate temperatures ranging from 13 to 35 degrees Celsius and low light of 12,000 to 20,000 lux. Modern hybrids are typically easier to grow in artificial conditions than their parent species.

Taxonomy and systematics edit

Paphiopedilum cultivar in Kew Gardens, England
Paphiopedilum acmodontum
Paphiopedilum appletonianum
Paphiopedilum callosum
Paphiopedilum dayanum
Paphiopedilum fairrieanum
Paphiopedilum glanduliferum
Paphiopedilum haynaldianum
Paphiopedilum helenae
Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum
Paphiopedilum hookerii
Paphiopedilum liemianum
Paphiopedilum niveum
Paphiopedilum primulinum
Paphiopedilum Pinocchio, hybrid of Paphiopedilum primulinum × Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum
Paphiopedilum superbiens
Paphiopedilum wardii
Paphiopedilum wenshanense (center)

The genus name Paphiopedilum was established by Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer in 1886; it is derived from Paphos (a city in Cyprus, a place sacred to Aphrodite. It was said she landed at the site when rose from the sea as her birth.) and Ancient Greek pedilon "slipper". No paphiopedilum occurs on Cyprus – at least not as the genus is understood today. But it was long mixed up with its Holarctic relative Cypripedium, which grows in the Mediterranean region. Paphiopedilum was made a valid taxon in 1959, but its use has become restricted to eastern Asian species in our time.

Subdivisions edit

The genus Paphiopedilum has been divided into several subgenera, and then further into sections and subsections:

Selected species edit

There are more than 550 taxa in this genus, including some 80 valid species. Some notable species and their natural hybrids are listed here, together with some assorted varieties and forms:

Conservation edit

All Paphiopedilum species are listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that commercial international trade in wild-sourced specimens is prohibited, while non-commercial trade is regulated.[1]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Koopowitz, H. (2012). An updated, annotated checklist of the genus Paphiopedilum. Orchid Digest 76: 178-215.
  4. ^ Leong, K.F. (2013). Flora of Peninsular Malaysia - Cypripedioideae. Malesian Orchid Journal 12: 117-131.
  5. ^ Paphiopedilum insigne, Splendid Paphiopedilum”, Assessment by: Rankou, H. & Kumar, P. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. ISSN 2307-8235. Accessed on 23.12.2021.
  6. ^ Pham, The & Averyanov, L.V. & Phan, Loc & Tien, Hiep & Xuan, Canh & Tien, Vinh & Quang, Hieu. (2014). Field survey of Paphiopedilum canhii: from discovery to extinction. Slipper Orchids FALL. 2014. 2-11.
  7. ^ Amy Hinsley, Hugo J de Boer, Michael F Fay, Stephan W Gale, Lauren M Gardiner, Rajasinghe S Gunasekara, Pankaj Kumar, Susanne Masters, Destario Metusala, David L Roberts, Sarina Veldman, Shan Wong, Jacob Phelps, A review of the trade in orchids and its implications for conservation, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 186, Issue 4, April 2018, Pages Pages 435–455,
  8. ^ Zeng, Songjun; Huang, Weichang; Wu, Kunlin; Zhang, Jianxia; Teixeira Da Silva, Jaime A.; Duan, Jun (2016). "In vitro propagation of Paphiopedilumorchids". Critical Reviews in Biotechnology. 36 (3): 521–534. doi:10.3109/07388551.2014.993585. PMID 25582733. S2CID 2506714.
  9. ^ Assmann, Sarah M.; Zeiger, Eduardo (1985). "Stomatal responses to CO2 in Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium". Plant Physiology. 77 (2): 461–464. doi:10.1104/pp.77.2.461. PMC 1064536. PMID 16664075.
  10. ^ Zeiger, E.; Assmann, S. M.; Meidner, H. (1983). "Photobiology of Paphiopedilum stomata: Opening under blue light but not red". Photochemistry and Photobiology. 38 (5): 627. doi:10.1111/j.1751-1097.1983.tb03394.x. S2CID 97955450.
  11. ^ Irving, Helen R.; Gehring, Christoph A.; Parish, Roger W. (1992). "Changes in cytosolic pH and calcium of guard cells precede stomatal movements". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 89 (5): 1790–1794. Bibcode:1992PNAS...89.1790I. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.5.1790. PMC 48538. PMID 11607281.
  12. ^ Victorian Orchid Club (1953), Orchid culture in Victoria / issued by Victorian Orchid Club of Victoria, The Victorian Orchid Club, p. 17, retrieved 8 May 2022
  13. ^ Pfahl, Jay. "Paphiopedilum praestans [Rchb.f] Pfitz 1894 SUBGENUS Polyantha SECTION Mastigopetalum". Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia.
  14. ^ Braem; Chiron; Öhlund (2014). Paphiopedilum. BookBaby. p. 42. ISBN 9788793044012.
  15. ^ Braem; Chiron; Öhlund (2014). Paphiopedilum. BookBaby. p. 43. ISBN 9788793044012.
  16. ^ a b c d Braem; Chiron; Öhlund (2014). Paphiopedilum. BookBaby. p. 28. ISBN 9788793044012.
  17. ^ a b Dopp, Alan C. MD (Fall 1984). "Standards in Judging Paphiopedilums" (PDF). American Orchid Society.
  18. ^ Górniak, Marcin; Szlachetko, Dariusz L.; Kowalkowska, Agnieszka K.; Bohdanowicz, Jerzy; Canh, Chu Xuan (2014-01-01). "Taxonomic placement of Paphiopedilum canhii (Cypripedioideae; Orchidaceae) based on cytological, molecular and micromorphological evidence". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 70: 429–441. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.08.016. ISSN 1055-7903. PMID 24001522. Retrieved 2022-03-21.
  19. ^ Lee, Yung-I; Chung, Mei-Chu; Sydara, Kongmany; Souliya, Onevilay; Aphay, Sulivong Luang (2017-03-29). "Taxonomic placement of Paphiopedilum rungsuriyanum (Cypripedioideae; Orchidaceae) based on morphological, cytological and molecular analyses". Botanical Studies. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 58 (1): 16. doi:10.1186/s40529-017-0170-1. ISSN 1999-3110. PMC 5432934. PMID 28510199.
  20. ^ Braem; Chiron; Öhlund (2014). Paphiopedilum. BookBaby. p. 327. ISBN 9788793044012.
  • Braem, G.J.; Baker, Charles O. & Baker, Margaret L. (1998): The Genus Paphiopedilum: Natural History and Cultivation (Vol. 1). Botanical Publishers Inc., Kissimmee, Florida, USA.
  • Leroy-Terquem, Gerald & Parisot, Jean (1991): Orchids: Care and Cultivation. Cassel Publishers Ltd., London, UK.
  • Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (1999): Genera Orchidacearum (Vol.1). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-850513-2
  • Schoser, Gustav (1993): Orchid Growing Basics. Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., New York City, New York, USA.
  • White, Judy (1996): Taylor's Guide to Orchids. Houghton-Mifflin, New York City, New York, USA.

External links edit