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The newly discovered Phragmipedium

NO.5 Phrag. brasiliense


  A new Phragmipedium brasiliense was described in Orchid Digest ,Oct.-Dec. 2003 by Robert-Jan W. Quene & Olaf Gruss. I'll introduce it on my site here.


 Around 10 to 12 years ago, Jerry Fischer of Orchids Limited received two unlabelied plants of the genus Phragmipedium from Ron Ciesinski of Taylor Orchids, Michigan, They had been purchased over 20 years earlier by John Fitch from Margaret Ilgenfritz, who had originally imported them from Brazil. At first thought to be plants of P. roez!ii, the plants also resembled P. vittatum in some respects. They proved easier to cultivate, and are both faster growing and easier to bloom than P. vittatum. The flower is similar to P. vittaturn, the most prominent difference being the intensive spotting. or maculation, on the pouch.

 The two clones were crossed, and the resuting offspring indicate that these are not natural hybrids. All the seedlings that have bloomed thus far carry the same features as the parents, which would be unlikely if one or both of the parents were a hybrid. A comparison of the two clones, as well as two seedlings, with a primary hybrid such as P. Arthur (P. !ongifolium x P. vittatum) reveals clear morphological differences. This
natural hybrid grex could be possible in the wild, since both P, vittatum and P. chapadense (better classified as a variant of P. longifolium) are native to Brazil, although it is not clear if they are sympatric. We first discussed the idea of describing this p]ant as a variety of P. vitfattum, but now believe it is sufficiently different from P. vittatum to merit species rank. Phragmipedum brasiliense should prove to be an interesting species for hybridization. resulting in vigorous multifloral hybrids which bloom easily, with intenselv colored flowers.

 Similar to P. vittatum (Vell.) Rolfe but differs by having distinctly longer ligulate
leaves, longer branched inflorescences with up to 24 flowers, a synsepalum shorter than the pouch, intensively spotted side lobes of the pouch and a transverse obovate staminode with a s mall triangular tip.

Terrestrial species with a short stem, completely enclosed imbricate leaf bases, laid out as a fan.
Leaves 6-9, lanceolate, pointed, leathery lower half diagonally erect then arched, carinate, central veining hollowed, dark green above and lighter green underneath, smooth, up to 60 cm long x 2-3 cm wide with smooth margins that are white to light green in color.. Inflores-
Flowers 7.2-10 cm tall x 8-12 cm across.
Petals linear, slightly rounded at the tip, deflexed to about 45' below horizontal, with the margins toward the base undulate and less so towards the tip, with 2-3 helical twists, green in the center becoming darker in color with some reddish-brown towards the tip, dark reddish-brown veining centrally with light green margin, the backside of the petals darker in color with more reddish-brown and a visible reddish-brown midvein, with white to red hairs at the base and fine hairs along the margins that become more prominent towards the tip, 5.5-8 cm long x 0.7-0.9 cm wide at the base.
Habitat: Unknown.
Flowering season: Spring and Fall; an inflorescence can remain in bloom for up to 11 months in cultivation.

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