Last revision 21-Jul-2020
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Phragmipedium dalessandroi Dodson & O. Gruß
in Die Orchidee, 47(4): 216-220 (1996).
Synonyms :
Phragmipedium besseae “Ecuadorian form” hort. ex B. Bergstrom in Orchid Digest, 52: 23 (1988), nomen nudum.
Phragmipedium besseae var. dalessandroi Dodson ex Wimber in Proceedings of the 14th World Orchid Conference: 228-232 [229] (1994), nomen nudum.
Phragmipedium besseae var. dalessandroi (Dodson & O. Gruß) Moon & P.J. Cribb in The Orchid Review, 105: 227 (1997).
Type(s) :
Etymology : This species is named after the man who collected this variety, Dennis d'Alessandro. A orchid enthusiast with a superb knowledge of the orchid flora of Ecuador.
Plant : Although the plants themselves look very similar to those of Phrag. besseae they can be distinguished from one another by the fact that the individual shoots of dalessandroi grow close together unlike those of besseae which have a clearly visible distance between them.
Leaves :
Inflorescence : This is a multifloral species, especially in older specimens. So the inflorescence carries several open flowers at the same time.
Flower :
Habitat :
Distribution :
Flowering Season :
Chromosomes : 2n = 28 (Wimber).
History : At first this species was thought to be similar to Phrag. besseae. But quickly it became clear that the difference in flower colour, the differently shaped staminode, the position of the petals and the difference in growth are genetically stable when the plants are grown from seed. Donald F. Wimber used the name var. dalessandroi in the Proceedings of the 14th World Orchid Conference in Glasgow 1993: 229, 1994 without making an official description. This name was proposed by Calaway H. Dodson in honour of the man who collected this variety.
Comments : In Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids. Supplement (July-August 2005), Vol. 113, No. 1264, it is announced that the registrar has agreed to accept this taxon for registration as a grex parent. Following is part of the registrar's note as has been published: "On the one hand it is well known that individual plants exist in the wild which are intermediate in characters between Phrag. besseae and Phrag. dalessandroi, a factor which favours treatment below the rank of species. One botanist with field work experience in Ecuador commented that the situation appeared typical of a subspecies. Interestingly, several subspecies in Paphiopedilum are currently accepted as grex parents for the purpose of registration. On the other hand, current floristic literature for the region, (…), accepts Phrag. dalessandroi as a species, as does much of the current orchid literature. (…) The registrar is also anxious to avoid the situation that has developed in Phalaenopsis from the unfortunate consequences of lumping taxa under Phal. lueddemanniana for example. With these points in mind, Phrag. dalessandroi is accepted before the record of its use in breeding becomes lost.".