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Paphiopedilum

Common Name(s):

Description

Paphiopedilum is the lady slipper orchid genus of the Orchidaceae.  It is native to tropical areas in Asia.  Most members of this genus are terrestrial though some are epiphytic or lithophytic.  The flowers range in color, shape, and size, but all have the characteristic slipper-shape of their lower pouch.

These orchids have species that are quite tolerant of low light and shade, needing only 500 to 1.500 fc.  Other species need around 2,500 fc (full, direct sunlight is approximately 10,000 fc by comparison).  They enjoy temperatures of 60-80 F and relatively high humidity, 60%.  Keep the soil routinely moist and do not allow to dry out.  They are tolerant of transplanting and repotting, so repot at least once a year.

Quick ID:

  • No pseudobulb
  • "Pouch" at the bottom of each flower
  • Colorful flowers with spots, stripes, or contrasting venation

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

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Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#specimen#shade garden#colorful#epiphytic#interiorscape#dappled shade#long-lasting flowers#herbaceous perennials#orchid#humidity tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#container plant#high humidity#hsc#hsc-fl
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#specimen#shade garden#colorful#epiphytic#interiorscape#dappled shade#long-lasting flowers#herbaceous perennials#orchid#humidity tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#container plant#high humidity#hsc#hsc-fl
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Paphiopedilum
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical Asia, China
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Description:
    Singular flowers on stalks 3"-24" in height. Most stand upright though some are arching. All species' flowers have a "pouch" at the bottom of the flower, reminiscent of its namesake. The lateral sepals may be fused. The petal size, shape, and color varies among species, ranging anywhere from 1"-12" and round to thin to wavy. The flowers last from 1-2 months.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves may be relatively short and ovate to obovate in shape or longer and closer to linear. They may be solid in color or mottled.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity