Last revision 18-Jan-2021
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Paphiopedilum papilio-laoticus Schuiteman, Luang Aphay & Iio
in OrchideenJournal, 6(4): 1-5 [3] (2018).
Type(s) : Laos, cult. Sulivong Luang Aphay SL1281-01/06/2018 (Holotype: FOF).
Etymology : From the latin papilio, butterfly, and laoticus, from Laos, referring both to the large dorsal sepal that resembles a butterfly wing and to the origin of the species. The authors add the note that laoticus is an adjective of papilio, not of Paphiopedilum, so the epithet should not be spelled papilio-laoticum.
Plant : Lithophyte. Shoots crowded, 4-5 leaved; Roots thick, villose.
Leaves : Leaves pendent, mid-green, lighter green underneath, the sheathing part very finely and densely spotted with purple, becoming almost solid purple to the base, linear, 29-37 x 3.8-4.6 cm, apex obtuse, shortly decurved-apiculate.
Inflorescence : Inflorescence 1 flowered, patent; peduncle 22-32 cm long, 7.6 mm diametre, very short purple-pubescent; floral bract light green, when flattened ligulate, 5.2 x 3.3 cm, glabrous. Pedicel with ovary light green, curved-fusiform, 4.5 cm long, 9.7 mm diametre, very short purple-pubescent.
Flower : Flower ca. 12 cm across; dorsal sepal white, more of less strongly flushed with light purple except along the margins, at the base with a bright yellow-green blotch, in the basal half with bold, ring-shaped or U-shaped, deep red-purple spots with a lighter centre; synsepal light green; petals glossy light brown to light greenish brown, with much darker brown mid-vein, the other veins darker but less so than the mid-vein, with or without a few small dark brown dots in the basal half; lip white at the base, inside with purple hairs, the pouch glossy light brown, somewhat darker and more reddish brown than the petals; column white with purple hairs, the knob on the staminode bright deep yellow; pollen masses deep dull yellow. Dorsal sepal suborbicular, held almost flat upright, 8.4 x 8.6 cm, apex emarginate, mucronate. Synsepal narrowly ovate, 6.8 x 3.1 cm, subacute. Petals widespreading to somewhat incurved, narrowly oblanceolate, 7.7 x 1.8 cm, apex rounded, margins slightly undulate, at base below the mid-vein with a small patch of long hairs, at apex slightly pubescent. Lip 6.5 x 3.9 cm; claw 2.1 cm wide, inside in basal part coarsely pubescent; the pouch gradually tapering to the obtuse apex, 2.9 cm long from front rim to apex. Column finely pubescent, including both sides of the staminode, stigma glabrous, broadly ovate, 1.2 x 1.0 cm; staminode broadly ovate-subcordate, 1.7 x 2.0 cm, apex (i.e. the side closest to the dorsal sepal) emarginate, base indistinctly 3-lobed, margins incurved except at the base.
Habitat : In the interest of conservation, the authors of the publication of this species refrained from disclosing locality and habitat information.
Distribution : This species is endemic to Laos.
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History : This species was not discovered by scientist in its natural habitat, but was found on local markets in Laos where it was sold by commercial plant collectors.
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