Orchid Society of
Western Australia (Inc)
Recently Identified Paphiopedilum
The Orchid Digest July- September 2017 included a paper
by Cavestro, Gruss and Koopowitz about 6 newly identified Paphiopedilum
Paphiopedilum agusii (accepted by Kew);
Paphiopedilum bungebelangii (accepted by Kew);
Paphiopedilum dodyanum (accepted by Kew);
Paphiopedilum lunatum (accepted by Kew);
Paphiopedilum notatisepalum (accepted by Kew); and
Paphiopedilum zulhermanianum (accepted by Kew)
In the following issue, January-March 2018, Koopowitz, Lamwiriyakul and
Laohapat published information on another newly identified species. Paphiopedilum
myanmaricum (not yet accepted by Kew). This article prepared for the
Paphiopedilum Study Group demonstrates that new species are regularly
being identified, in part resulting from better access to previously inaccessible
locations and partly from improved identification techniques including
For the purposes of this discussion, the Plant List supported by Kew and
several leading herbaria http://powo.science.kew.org/?
is used as a searchable reference as it provides details of those Paphiopedilum
species where the identification is accepted.
Recognised authors and taxonomists including Dr Guido Braem, Dr Phillip
Cribb, the late Dr Jack Fowlie, Harold Koopowitz, Olaf Gruss, the late
Holger Perner and Dr Tanaka as well as many others are constantly working
with this genus to properly identify species and using DNA sequencing
to supplement to the traditional bases for identification. As species
orchid enthusiasts, improving our knowledge and understanding of the taxonomical
procedures involved in validly identifying and obtaining recognition for
a previously unidentified plant species is important in understanding
why plant genera and species change as we develop better tools and procedures
for their identification.
Dr Tanaka is recognised as a very knowledgeable enthusiast lists new
species on his webpage at http://www.orchid.or.jp/orchid/people/tanaka/indexe.html
In doing so, he states that his page is not for scientists or botanists,
but is targeted to enthusiasts, thereby avoiding the classification disputes
that continue to plague taxonomy. My visit to his website revealed a further
three new species that are covered in this article, Paphiopedilum natasche
(accepted by Kew), Paphiopedilum papilio-laoticus (not yet accepted
by Kew) and Paphiopedilum rohmanii (not yet accepted by Kew). All
the photos in this article are, unless otherwise stated, from Dr Tanakas
Paphiopedilum agusii. Cavestro & N. Bougourd
2017 Subgenus Sigmatopetalum, Section Barbata, Subsection
Chloroneura is a recently described species from 900m in Central
Java (Indonesia). The species is named for Agus Marup, a local Javanese
nurseryman who found, grew and flowered the plant that was later identified.
While the flower is said to be somewhat similar to Paphiopedilum argus
(Rchb.f.) Stein and Paphiopedilum javanicum (Reinw. ex Lindl.)Stein,
it differs from the latter in that it has a wider dorsal sepal (largely
ovate and not elliptic), oblong petals (not narrowly oblong) and a sub
circular staminode (not reniform = kidney-shaped). It is also somewhat
similar to Paphiopedilum callosum and Paphiopedilum barbatum.
Additional research is required to determine whether or not it is in fact
a new species, or a variant form of one of the species to which it is
Paphiopedilum agusii staminode
Metusala Section Barbata
A new species that is closely related to Paphiopedilum barbatum, Paphiopedilum
bungebelangii differs as its undulate, yellow/green petals with darker
green stripes lack the characteristic black warts of Paphiopedilum
barbatum. Its name means beautiful flower (bunge = flower and belangi
= beautiful). This species was found at 1,550-1,650 m in Aceh province
and described in the Edinburgh Journal of Botany, March 2017. P.1-10 by
D. Metusala. Paphiopedilum bungebelangii also resembles Paphiopedilum
robinsonianum which is found nearby.
Photo: David Ng. Published in Orchid Digest
Dody Nugrohu. Published in Orchid Digest Jul-Sept 2017
Paphiopedilum bungebelangii in situ Aceh
Photo: Frankie Handoyo, Published in Orchid Digest Jul-Sept 2017
Paphiopedilum dodyanum Cavestro 2017 section
This newly described species, also from Aceh, was found in 2016 at 1,300m
in the Gayo region of Aceh, some 500 km from where Paphiopedilum liemianum
can be found. It is similar to Paphiopedilum liemianum and Paphiopedilum
moquettianum but differs from Paphiopedilum liemianum as it
has mottled leaves, a green, spotted brown dorsal sepal, and an ovate-rhombic
staminode, although it shares the heavily pigmented leaf under-sides of
Paphiopedilum liemianum. When compared with Paphiopedilum moquettianum,
the background colour in the dorsal is green rather than yellow.
new species was described in The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia
Nomenclature Note April 2017 by Dr. William Cavestro. It was named for
Dody Nugrohro, owner of Djuwita Nursery.
Photo by David Ng
Paphiopedilum lunatum Metusala 2017 section
This species was found in Aceh, and described was described in the Edinburgh
Journal of Botany, March 2017 74(1) p.1-10 by D. Metusala. It is closely
related to Paphiopedilum javanicum but differs in its longer, oblong-elliptic
petals. In fact, it was originally thought to be a red form of Paphiopedilum
tonsum that has been for sale for some time. It has also been suggested
that it might be a natural hybrid between Paphiopedilum javanicum
and Paphiopedilum tonsum. This view is rejected by Metusala as
he says it is a much larger flower than either of these species, and has
much longer petals.
Paphiopedilum lunatum in situ
Paphiopedilum myanmaricum Koop., Lamwir. &
Laohap. sp. nov. subgenus Brachypetalum
This new species was described in Phytotaxa 324(1):097-100A2017
by Dr. Harold Koopowitz et al. This species from Myanmar differs from
Paphiopedilum josianae (previously Paphiopedilum concolor var.
longipetalum) found in Myanmar and Paphiopedilum leucochilum
found in Thailand in the shape of the labellum, pattern of markings on
petals and sepals, obovate to elliptical petals, shape and pattern of
markings of the staminode, and pendent inflorescence. It was found in
primary, broad-leaved evergreen forest and scrub on steep slopes and limestone
cliffs. While similar to other members of the sub-genus such as Paphiopedilum
josianae in having dense purple colouration on the underside of the
leaves, the most striking difference between Paphiopedilum myanmaricum
and all the other members of the subgenus Brachypetalum is the
fringe of white hairs along the staminode basal margin. Staminode fringes
are rare in Paphiopedilum, though common in Phragmipedium.
In considering whether this might be a natural hybrid between Paphiopedilum
josianae and Paphiopedilum leucochilum, the authors examined
man-made hybrids between these two species that bore no resemblance to
Further Paphiopedilum myanmaricum has no fragrance
whereas Paphiopedilum leucochilum has a quite unpleasant fragrance,
presumably to attract its
Photo Orchid Digest Jan-Mar 2018
Paphiopedilum nataschae Braem 2015 subgenus
This new species was discovered in the north central region of Sulawesi,
and was described in Richardiana XV 276-281(2015) by Dr.Guido J. Braem.
While Paphiopedilum nataschae is similar to Paphiopedilum sangii,
the staminodes of each are distinctly different in shape and colour, the
pouch of Paphiopedilum sangii has prominent veining not present
in Paphiopedilum nataschae. Paphiopedilum nataschae has also been likened
to the recently discovered Paphiopedilum robinsonianum discovered
by Cavestro. The major difference between the two is the shape and colouration
of the dorsal sepal, and the strongly twisted petals of Paphiopedilum
robinsonianum. It is also noted that Paphiopedilum sangii var.
ayubianum described by Olaf Gruss is somewhat similar to Paphiopedilum
nataschae. Paphiopedilum nataschae was named for Miss Natascha Popow.
Paphiopedilum sangii - Paphiopedilum
Z. J. Liu, M. Wang & S. R. Lan 2017 Subgenus Paphiopedilum
This new species is found in southeastern Yunnan, China in the crevices
of shady cliffs or rocks in evergreen broad-leaved forests over limestone
where it grows as lithophyte. This new species is morphologically similar
to Paphiopedilum henryanum, from which it differs by being smaller
plants with large yellow spots on the leaves, shorter flower scape but
larger flower, white and narrow sepals and light purple-red petals with
larger purple spots and yellow-white margins. The molecular analyses of
combined nuclear and plastid datasets (nrITS and matK) indicate that Paphiopedilum
notatisepalum is sister to Paphiopedilum barbigerum which has
a green leaves and pale yellow-green sepals and petals. The species name
notatisepalum refers to purple-maroon-spotted sepals, from the Greek notati
(spot) and sepalum (sepal).
This species was described in Phytotaxa 302(2):156-164 2017 by Meina Wang
et al. Using the World Conservation Union Red List Categories and Criteria
(IUCN, 2012), Paphiopedilum notatisepalum should be treated as
Schuit., Luang Aphay & Lio 2018 Section Paphiopedilum
This new species from Laos was described as Paphiopedilum papilio-laoticus
in Orchideen Journal Vol.6-4, 5 June 2018, by Andre Schuiteman, Sulvng
Luang Aphay and Shunsuke Lio. It was discovered
amongst wild-collected orchids being sold in a local market, much as was
the case for Paphiopedilum rungsuriyanum (see later in this article)
which created a huge amount of interest when it was first flowered. It
is thought that these species are endemic to Laos, and the habitat from
which they were collected is being kept confidential to prevent their
This species is most similar to the highly variable Paphiopedilum gratrixianum
(and Paphiopedilum daoense) but has much larger flowers, a
uniformly pubescent, white staminode with incurved margins and the eye-like
purple spots on the dorsal sepal. The other species in the SECTION
Paphiopedilum with a white staminode and large dorsal sepal is Paphiopedilum
charlesworthii, but its staminode is glabrous and the dorsal sepal
is uniformly pinkish with darker veins.
It is named for the Latin papilio (butterfly), and laoticus (from Laos)
referring to the large dorsal sepal that resembles a butterfly wing and
the origin of the species. The authors say that it is hoped that this
attractive and rare species can be propagated from seed, and urge collectors
not to buy plants of this species which are most likely to be wild collected.
Once the identification is accepted, it is likely to be added to ICUN
red list as threatened as it is only found in a very confined location.
Photos this and following page published Orchideen Journal Vol.6-4, 5
Paphiopedilum rohmanii Cavestro & O. Gruss
sp. nov. section Barbata
This new species from Aceh province in northern Sumatra is found in in
humid forest at 700- 800m. This species has a white dorsal sepal tinged
with light purple and brown-purple veined, petals de-flexed, green veined
and spotted with light brown, a light brown lip veined with brown, a lunate
staminode white and green reticulated in the middle. This appearance is
different to most of the species in the Barbata section. While
it most closely resembles Paphiopedilum tonsum, it differs in having
deflexed, twisted at apex, more mottled brown petals, a staminode that
is lunate (not subreniform) and green reticulated in the middle. It is
quite different to Paphiopedilum barbatum. It is named for its
discoverer Rohman Ikhwan, the owner of Roman Orchids in Aceh.
When looking at the flower, the deflexed petals bear
a resemblance to Paphiopedilum callosum found in Cambodia, Thailand
and Laos. The Sumatran species Paphiopedilum tonsum and Paphiopedilum
barbatum are found on the Malay Peninsula and to the North and centre
These two species are therefore geographically close to Paphiopedilum
rohmanii. This species was published in Orchideen Journal (Internet)
Vol 5.3, 2017
Paphiopedilum zulhermanianum Cavestro 2017 section Barbata
This species is found in the Bukit Barisan Mountains in Western Sumatra
at 700-800m as a terrestrial. Named for M Zulherman, its finder, this
species is similar to others in section Barbata. It is most similar
to Paphiopedilum bullenianum but differs as it has a longer dorsal
sepal with white margins, the petals are more spathulate (non-oblanceolate)
and coloured pale purple-rose in the apical part and it has a reniform
(not sub circular) staminode.
Paphiopedilum zulhermanianum unflowered seedling.
This new species was described in 'The Internet Orchid
Species Photo Encyclopaedia Nomenclature Note ' April 2017 by Dr. William
It was disturbing to find several advertisements on
the internet offering some of these newly discovered species for sale.
Clearly, they will be wild-collected plants in breach of the CITES convention,
but the vendors are not in any way concerned about the removal of perhaps
rare and endangered species from the wild, preferring profit to conservation!
Paphiopedilum rungsuriyanum section Pygmaea?
This apparently new and very distinctive species has been published by
Olaf Gruss, Niwat Rungruang, Yongyouth Chaisuriyakul and Ibn Dionisio
in Orchideen Journal, Vol 2-1, 2014. Like several discoveries in in the
last 10-15 years, it came about by chance. Wild-collected Laos Paphiopedilum
species orchids were sent to Thailand for sale in the plant market. Mr
Niwat Rungruang, a Thai orchid enthusiast purchased several plants from
some of these collections. When one of the plants bloomed in May 2014,
he realised that his plant was not Paphiopedilum
canhii which it resembled vegetatively.
He contacted Dr Olaf Gruss, and supplied flowering specimens and photos
for analysis and identification. From several flowering specimens, this
new species was proposed.
This photo is purportedly the habitat for Paphiopedilum
rungsuriyanum, but could equally be Paphiopedilum canhii given
the superficial vegetative similarity.
Other than a source in northern Laos, little has been published about
the habitat in which it is found. In part, this is due to the fact that
the plants were most likely illegally collected and transported to Thailand
in the first instance.
While the species with its marbled leaves appears quite similar to Paphiopedilum
canhii, the flower is distinctively different with much broader petals
and intensive red-purple colouring, and an entirely different staminodium.
The underside of the leaves is grey-green with wide purple veins while
Paphiopedilum canhii is red- purple speckled.
Paphiopedilum canhii Aver. & O. Gruss section Pygmaea?
Paphiopedilum canhii was first collected in 2009 in Northern Vietnam
during a field expedition. It was named for Mr. Canh Chu Xuan, who discovered
Only a few plants were collected in 2009 in northern Vietnam from primary
coniferous, mixed and broad-leaved endemic forests covering tops of remnant
table- or mesa-like hills and mountains composed of highly eroded marble-like
rocky limestone. A small population was found in shade at the base of
a vertical cliff near the mountaintop at 1,500m. Plants that were collected
flowered in a nursery a few months later. The flowers did not fit with
any known Paphiopedilum species based on colour and morphology,
and initially it was thought that it was a natural hybrid. Further examination
and study of its morphology indicated that this Paphiopedilum did
not fit with any possible hybrid morphology of based on parental pairs
of known species. The colour and shape of the petals, lip and particularly
the staminode are specific and characteristic. The authors concluded that
these characteristics distinctly segregate this plant as a separate entity.
The registration has been accepted and little doubt exists that it is
a new species as part of an isolated taxonomic group of local calcium-dependent
limestone endemics of northern Vietnam.
Within the limits of this section, this newly discovered
species may have some relation to Paphiopedilum callosum (Rchb.
f.) Stein and Paphiopedilum purpuratum Pfitzer. However, this affinity
is rather uncertain due to the different floral morphology. Ecological,
environmental and climate conditions of Paphiopedilum canhii look
quite similar to those that were described and published earlier for Paphiopedilum
purpuratum (Averyanov et al. 2003).
According to the most modern taxonomic system for the genus Paphiopedilum,
this species was provisionally placed into section Barbata (Kraenzl.)
V.A. Albert & B. Pettersen (Cribb 1998; Averyanov et al. 2003). However,
that sectional placement remains uncertain due to the differences in the
leaves, the staminode and the lip, as well as the lack of warts on petals.
As will often be the case for endangered plant communities that include
newly discovered species, the primary forests on rocky limestone habitats
for Paphiopedilum canhii and other plant species are presently
under great threat. This species has little chance of survival without
further study and implementation of protective measures.
This species was discovered during extensive botanical field explorations
conducted in 2009. The limestone areas of northern Vietnam and southern
China were identified as distinct and important centres for Paphiopedilum
speciation and diversity (Averyanov 2008). These studies revealed more
than 25 fairly isolated local endemics with surprisingly restricted and
disjunctive distributions. Among them are several highly prized species
and varieties of Paphiopedilum. (Averyanov 2008; Liu Zhong-Jian,
Chen Sing-Chi and Cribb 2009). Southern China and Northern Vietnam have
been a priority for botanical explorations and investigations for many
years, but the limestone areas in northern Vietnam and northern Laos remained
Paphiopedilum canhii in situ
When referring to some of the unusual and exciting orchids from this general
area including Bulbophyllum paraemarginatum Aver., Dendrobium
farinatum Schildh.&Schraut, Dendrobium trantuanii Perner
et X.N. Dang, Dendrobium vietnamense Aver., Hayata glandulifera
Aver. and Sunipia nigricans Aver recently discovered, (Perner
and Dang 2003; Schildhauermand Schraut 2004; Averyanov 2004, 2005, 2007,
2009) note that botanists always expected many more discoveries from areas
such as these that for many years had been inaccessible.
More recently, a new variety of Paphiopedilum canhii was found
in south-eastern Yunnan, China and described as Paphiopedilum canhii
var. funingense by Z. J. Liu and L.J. Chen. The flower closely
resembles Paphiopedilum canhii with the exception of the flower