Paphiopedilum rothschildianum is a perfect collection for its longevity of flowering

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid)

Beautiful flower of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid), Feb 24 2018Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid or Gold of Kinabalu Orchid is an endangered orchid species that is endemic to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, West Malaysia.

A perfect species collection for its small size and longevity of flowering.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum is assessed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

  • Botanical Name: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (syn.: Cypripedium rothschildianum, Cordula rothschildiana).
  • Common Names: Mesmerising blooms of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid), Feb 24 2018Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid.
  • Family name: Orchidaceae.
  • Etymology: The genus name, Paphiopedilum is from the Greek word paphiaan attribute of Aphrodite and pedilon, meaning sandal.
    The specific epithet rothschildianum is named in honour of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.
  • Origin: Native to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, northern Borneo.
  • Plant type: A terrestrial and sometimes lythophtic orchid.
  • Features: Prolific flowering Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid) that is long-lasting, Feb 24 2018Paphiopedilum rothschildianum is from the genus, Paphiopedilum that comprises of 96 accepted species.
    It is a medium to large sized, clear-leafed species of orchid.
    Its leaves are very narrowly elliptic or ligulate. It commonly grows as a terrestrial in ultramafic soil but is also found growing as a lithophyte in leaf-litter on ultramafic cliffs, usually near a river.
    Flowers of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid) and and narrowly elliptic leaves, Feb 24 2018Leaves are 40-60 cm long and 5 cm wide, leathery, bright green to yellowish green and have reddish hair at the base.
    At a sufficiently high level of light, the leaves will be yellowish. It is unique in the Corypetalum group by holding its petals almost horizontally, giving the flower a very distinctive appearance.
    The flower has a green and red spotted petal borne on an erect, terminal up to 75 cm long, pubescent with ovate-elliptic floral bracts and carrying 2 to 4, large to very large, showy flowers.
    The flowers are very large, some even reach a diameter of 30-45 cm.
    The ovate and sharp tip of the dorsal petal may be pale-green, cream-colored or yellow with purple stripes. The lower petal is similar but smaller.
    Lip of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid) with large purple or chestnut spotsThe inner whorl flakes, which are inclined a few degrees below the horizontal line are of off-white ivory colour or yellow, with chestnut veins.
    These petals open widely, and at the base have small dark spots with short hairs.
    Their banks are wavy with thick cilia. The lip may be bright gold-green to buff with large purple or chestnut spots.
  • Culture (Care): Paphiopedilum rothschildianum or Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid grows easily with the least maintenance.
    Light: Full sun to partial shade.
    Moisture: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid) with purple stripesMedium water needs. Water when the top feels dry. Do not overwater to avoid rotting the roots. It benefits from a high humid environment.
    Soil: Calcareous soils with mosses such as sphagnum moss.
    Others: Feed once fortnightly with a balanced orchid fertiliser. A weakly ¼ strength works well. Once a month use clear water to flush any accumulated salts from the potting mix.
    Generally free from serious garden pests. However, poor air circulation will encourage the presence of mealybugs, insect infestations and fungus.
    For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone – Not applicable.
    Gorgeous flowers of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid), Feb 24 2018Paphiopedilum rothschildianum or Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is intolerant of frost. It can be grown outdoors in frost-free regions. It requires an average home temperature range of 18-24°C during the day and 13-18°C during the evening to thrive well.
    Paphiopedilum belongs to the low light group of orchids and can be easily grown as houseplants. Indoors, grow them under intermediate temperatures and bright light. To induce blooming reduce watering in the spring and winter.
    Captivating flowers of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid), Feb 24 2018Flowers are long-lasting, about 2-3 months. The flowering period is very long, extending from the spring till winter. It can bloom for a year to 18 months on the same spike, making it almost a perpetual bloomer. Each flower lasts about 3-4 weeks and is replaced by a new one. When a new growth begins its flower spike and the older growth is still flowering, it is best to cut the older flower spike off to put more energy into the plant for better growth and flowering.
  • Propagation: Potted Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild's Slipper Orchid, Gold of Kinabalu Orchid) with flowers and leaves, Feb 24 2018By division of young plants. Note that if you divide mature plants, they will take 2-4 years before blooming again.
  • Usage: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum or Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is an ornamental plant with long lasting blooms. Suitable for growing in containers. Ideal as an indoor orchid plant or houseplant as it’s very adaptable to low lighting. It is a perfect species collection for its small size and longevity of flowering.

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