A small-sized, terrestrial, clump-forming orchid with evergreen, narrowly-elliptic, mottled leaves up to 20cm long and 4cm wide. Solitary flowers, up to 10cm across, appear from the centre of the leaf rosette and are carried on 25cm long, upright stems, densely covered in thin short hairs. The pouch (or slipper) is a modification of the lip that traps insects and consequently provides an ''escape route'' that results in pollen collection and flower pollination. Lateral sepals are fused, mostly hidden behind the pouch. Petals are white, lined with green, pink at the lower ends and with few dark, raised spots along the green lines. Dorsal sepal is white with bright green stripes.
Ultimate height0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height5–10 years
Ultimate spread0.1–0.5 metres
Colour & scent
|White Green Purple
|White Green Purple
- Partial shade
East–facing or South–facing or West–facing
- Native to the UK
- Clump forming
Paphiopedilum are mainly terrestrial, and lithophytic or epiphytic. They lack pseudobulbs and produce short stems with strap-shaped leathery leaves. Each shoot ends in a solitary flower or racemes of 2-8 flowers each with a distinctive variably-shaped lip or pouch
- Name status
- Plant range
How to grow
Grow in terrestrial, bark based orchid mix, with added sphagnum moss and perlite, or crushed limestone chips. In summer, provide higher humidity and bright, filtered light. Average summer temperatures are between 20 - 25°C, with winter temperatures falling to 18 - 22°C. Apply fertiliser with every third watering. Avoid heavy misting or overhead watering. As the plant lacks pseudobulbs, it shouldn't be left dry for long time. Water plant as it approaches dryness, but avoid standing in water, or keeping wet for prolonged period. See Paphiopedilum cultivation for more detailed advice.
Propagation by seed is only possible in a controlled laboratory environment. Mature plants may be divided when the plant overgrows its container. Each division should have at least 3 healthy, rooted plant rosettes with a suffient amount of stored energy and water, to support new growth and reduce stress after repotting.
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Conservatory and greenhouse
No pruning required.
Generally pest-free. May be susceptible to mealybugs.
Generally disease-free. Overhead watering in combination with low temperatures may cause bacterial rots in the centre of leaf rosettes.
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