A rare Paphiopedilum species from Borneo, Paphiopedilum sugiyamanum is a warm grower found at elevations of approximately 800m. It is believed to be related to Paphiopedilum dayanum. Our plant is a division, and has proven to be a strong grower in warm, lower light conditions similar to other mottled leave Paphiopedilum.
This orchid had a rough arrival with a happy ending. Two of its four leaves were creased in shipping. Not good, as it only had four leaves, and the largest/newest leaves were the ones damaged. The crease looked relatively fresh, so I “splinted” the leaves with clear tape and propped them into correct position. I didn’t move the orchid for two weeks, and very, very carefully watered, to avoid any moisture on the leaves or being trapped under the tape splint. Then I removed the tape, but left the stalk prop for another 10 days or so. The leaves completely healed and were able to support themselves! If you look at the third photo, on the underside of two leaves opposite each other, you will see a thin brown line where the creased healed.
Update: this plant flowered in 2020, with distinctively different petal color and form. The fourth photograph is from the 2020 bloom. I find the contrast to be very insightful into how the genetics of a plant can be expressed in different ways under different growing conditions. I speculate that the change in color is due to a change in “diet” after growing for a full year on our fertilizer program. The “swept back” petals might be a result of closer proximity to a fan. I moved the orchid to another location in between the blooms and now it receives more “wind” in its new location.
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