Tropical Slipper Orchids: "Paphiopedilum" & "Phragmipedium" Species & Hybrids
Distinguished by a prominent pouchlike sac which resembles a ballroom slipper and often decorated with warts, hairs, or stripes, the flowers of slipper orchids may be ugly or pretty, depending on your point of view. In either case, they are captivating to amateur and professional orchids growers alike and indeed may be the most poplar group of orchids in cultivation.
The tropical slipper orchids in cultivation come from two major genera, Paphiopedilum from Southeast Asia and Phragmipedium from Central and South America, and one minor genus, Mexipedium from Mexico. Tens of thousands of hybrids have been made using paphiopedilums and phragmipediums, and each year hundreds more are introduced. All are surrounded by mystique, and all can be grown as houseplants or greenhouse plants.
Descriptions of the species are organized into alliances which are of horticultural importance. The five most important species for breeding exciting hybrids are treated in a separate chapter. The last ten chapters introduce the best and mnost desirable hybrids, again by alliance.
Connoisseurs and beginners alike will find this a useful reference to one of the most intriguing groups of orchids.