Paphiopedilum wilhelminae

Paphiopedilum wilhelminae L.O.Williams, Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 10 (1942) 373 ('wilhelminiae')

Type: Brass 11650 (New Guinea) (holo AMES; iso BO, L)

Terrestrial herb with clustered growths forming large clumps. Leaves 4-6, linear-oblong, obtuse and tridenticulate at apex, 6-27 by 2-3.5 cm, sparsely ciliate on basal margins, dark green, glabrous. Inflorescence ( 1-)2-3-flowered; peduncle 30-50 cm long, shortly pubescent. Floral bracts ovate, acute, to 4.5 cm long, glabrous, ciliate. Flowers large, 12-16 cm across; pedicel and ovary 5-7 cm long, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Median sepal ovate, acuminate, 4.9-5.5 by 2.5-2.9 cm. Synsepal similar, 5.3-5.5 by 2.8-2.9 cm. Petals deflexed, somewhat helically twisted (rarely with more than 2 'twists'), linear-tapering, 5-7 by 1 cm, papillose in apical part, sparsely ciliate on basal margins, lacking marginal warts or with a few only. Lip subporrect, 3.5-4.5 by 1.8-1.9 cm, with narrow, acute, incurved side-lobes. Staminode convex, subquadrate, obtuse, 1.2 cm long, 1-1.2 cm wide. (After Cribb, 1998)

Colours: Leaves dark green. Sepals and petals whitish or pale straw yellow with maroon veins, petals with dark maroon veins at base, maroon in apical part, sometimes petals almost entirely maroon; lip yellow, veined and more or less flushed purple-brown, the staminode reddish with a yellow base, with brownish hairs on the sides.

Habitat: Terrestrial in montane grassland on limestone, also on almost pure limestone rubble; 1200 to 1800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March, April, May, July, September, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 521-191M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires light position.

Note: The specific epithet of this species is consistently misspelled 'wilhelminiae'. Since the Dutch queen in whose honour it was named was called Wilhelmina, not Wilhelmin, the proper spelling is 'wilhelminae'. It differs from the closely related Paphiopedilum glanduliferum in the less twisted, shorter petals with fewer or almost lacking marginal warts and in the different altitudinal range.