Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

Week 19: July 27, 2020

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

('Red' x Red Star')

We have new plant today - Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi 'Red' x 'Red Star'

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi (Breda) Blume & Rchb.f., Hamburger Garten- Blumenzeitung 16: 116 (1860) is accepted species by WCSP (Kew).

Distribution - Bangladesh to W. Malesia and Philippines.

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi is also called as Deer Antlered Phalaenopsis

Previous Awards:

There are 98 awards for this species, including many cultural awards. I found the cultural awards to be all over the board. Some are far smaller than this, some are massive, very uneven.


The candidate plant has 56 flowers and 8 buds on 6 inflorescences. In exhibitor care for 9 years from a seedling. One growth, no keikis. As far as staking, inflorescences are always pendulous. Staking would seem fake.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 3.0 cm; NS V - 3.6 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 1.0 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 1.8 cm;

Petal W - 0.5 cm; Petals L - 1.4 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 1.0 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 2.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 0.7 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 0.7 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina

A quite floriferous single growth plant apparently painfully slowly growing, if at all (9 years, 1 growth!); several abscised flowers on bench. Suboptimal photos allow for incomplete evaluation. I believe for floriferous production alone, an HCC could be considered. Form and color seem to be OK, from what can be seen.

Note: Very few judges will complain about providing too many photos. Most will complain if too few are made available.

Thanks for allowing me to participate.

Alan Koch

I think this is a hybrid and not the true species. The structure of the lip is not correct for cornu-cervi. There are a lot of hybrids out and about called after this species. If the team wished to score the plant I would recuse myself and then protest the award. It is a beautifully grown plant, but we may never know what is really behind this plant. If you have the book The Genus Phalaenopsis by Hermann Sweet there is an excellent line drawing of the true lip of this species and it is clear that this lip is incorrect.


Tom Mirenda

Nicely bloomed specimen plant of the red-flowered form (var chattaladae) I believe.

There have been many many clones shown and awarded since the first one was imported by Dr. David Grove in the 1980s. This looks to be a superior clone with larger than average flowers, though the form is a bit elongate rather than rounded. Generally the ones with yellow tips (such as this one) have scored a little lower than those that are solid maroon-red to the edge. Even so, the color and form are impressive.

I could see this clone as awardable around 79 to 81 but would have to do an analysis of several other clones to see exactly where it falls on the spectrum.

Even though it is well-bloomed, I don’t think it is quite ready for a cultural award….but (if you bring it back when it grows up LOL) it appears that it will be a contender someday.

Carri Raven-Riemann

Hi Sergey,

Here’s a bit of the back-story on the red form of cornu-cervi:

Originally David Grove obtained the first of the fma. chattaladae many many years ago when on a trip to Thailand ~ it was a collected plant that he just happened upon at a bazaar. It was a true solid blood red flower with no hint of any underlying color either as a halo or on the lateral sepals ~ and the back of the flower was solid red with no hint of yellow.

When it produced a keiki he gave that keiki to Maynard Michael. Then David selfed & eventually sibbed from his original plant to produce a new population of the fma. chattaladae, many of which I saw in his greenhouse with each new generation. All were also solid blood red flowers, including solid red on their backs.

In the meantime, Thailand was selling plants of what was eventually called fma. rubescens, many of them to Taiwan growers & under the fma. name of fma. chattaladae.

Out of curiosity, I once asked David if he had ever sold or given one of his true chattaladae to a grower/breeder in Taiwan. This question was prompted by a group, labeled fma. chattaladae, from Taiwan which flowered like your photos, with a yellow picotee & windowing of yellow on its lateral sepals with a mustard yellow back to each flower. Since I also had a cornu-cervi fma. rubescens (or thalebanii), which showed the same yellow base color, I was pretty sure that particular population was not a true chattaladae.

David told me that he had, indeed, sold a true chattaladae to a breeder in Taiwan.

Now comes the problem ~ Taiwan had a population of what they thought were chattaladae but which were actually rubescens. These plants were bred in Taiwan to David’s chattaladae to produce the next population of “chattaladae” & were sold as fma. chattaladae. Those hybridizers did not realize they were actually crossing a rubescens with a chattaladae!

Some of that first group bloomed solid red, like a true chattaladae, while others from the same group flowered more like a rubescens ~ to be expected from that mating with some taking after one parent & the rest taking after the other.

So now we go back to the original jungle collected chattaladae ~ is it possible that the original plant was actually a solid red clone produced in nature as a result of fma. rubescens being sibbed & selfed in the wild, producing results much like the sibbing & selfing done in Taiwan, some being solid red & others being more like rubescens? I have no answer on that.

All I can tell you is that on numerous occasions when I would visit David I saw the results of his first selfing & eventual sibbings ~ and they were all solid red, varying only in form from one another, with some producing slightly fuller flowers & others being more typically cornu-cervi starry in shape. So I tend to believe that David’s original plant was a true chattaladae.

Here is what I had written about the difference between the two forms & how to identify them in an earlier Pre-Order List:

There are other red forms of Phal. cornu-cervi being offered – but they are actually fma. rubescens or a cross between fma. rubescens and possibly fma. chattaladae….all showing a hint of yellow in their lateral sepals and most with a yellow back to the flowers. Fma. chattaladae has a totally solid red back to its flowers with no hint of yellow anywhere except the very tips of the lateral sepals, & it retains its solid red color, even on the fading flowers, whereas fma. rubescens will begin to show yellow as the flowers fade.

Also, note that fma. rubescens is also often noted as being fma. thalebanii ~ a great treatment of the differences among cornu-cervi can be found in Eric Christenson’s “Phalaenopsis: A Monograph” book beginning on page 80. He discusses at length the differences in color & lip structure. He refers to the fma. rubescens as fma. thalebanii which is exactly what my “rubescens” came in labeled as originally. When he later saw my plant of rubescens, after publication of his book, he called it fma. rubescens ~ this is not noted originally in his book.

I also remember David Grove wrote extensively about chattaladae, probably found in an old Orchids Magazine. I doubt I still have it on my computer but will look.

So there is much confusion among this group ~ and I’m pretty sure from your photos that the plant is not a true chattaladae due to its picotee & windowing of yellow on the lateral sepals. And being labeled ‘Red’ x ‘Red Star’ is a proper

way to note its parentage ~ I’m guessing they were from populations coming from Thailand & neither are true chattaladaes.


Olaf Gruss

Dear Sergej,

At first your plant is in the variability of Phal. cornu-cervi in color and shape of the lip.

You can find very often so big or bigger plants in Thailand but not so often in this wonderful color.

The flower looks like the forma sanguinea.

It is difficult to say if it is the result of a cross between 2 different color forms of cornu-cervi. It would be necessary to see the pictures of the parents (perhaps AOS has them)

Best greetings


Carrie Buchman

This is nicely grown and flowered plant. The ‘Red’ parent has received both an AM (84) and a CCM (89), and the ‘Red Star’ parent is unawarded. This plant is significantly more floriferous than the awarded ‘Red’ parent and many other of the CCMs awarded. Flower shape is elongated similar to ‘Red’, and is smaller in size than ‘Red’. I cannot speak to whether it is this species or not. I would nominate it for a cultural award.

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Peter Lin

Hi Sergey,


This is a very well grown Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi. Flower quality is above average, slight reflex of petals expected of this species. Flower size is about average. I think this flower could get a low HCC if scored. I would like to see this plant producing more inflorescences for culture award consideration.

More Information:

I would accept this flower as Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi. I don’t believe it is forma chattaladae or forma rubescens. This flower is a combination of different flower forms of Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi. The lip does look a bit wide for Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi. If awarded, a flower could be sent for identification.

In 2017, I have purchased Phal. cornu-cervi ('Red' X 'Red Star') from Hawaii. The two seedlings I got have produced one brownish marking and one reddish flower (but not solid red). I have no way of knowing if this would be the same cross as the exhibitor has had this plant for 9 years.

There are many red Phal. cornu-cervi in trade. Larger flower size is now available. For example, Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi f. chattaladae 'Frank's Gift' FCC | AOS (90 points) awarded on Jun 4, 2017 has flower size at 4.8 x 4.1 cm, and Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi f. chattaladae 'Monster' FCC | AOS (91 points) awarded on Aug 4, 2012 has flower size 3.5 cm x 5.1 cm.

Even older award like Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi 'Louisiana' HCC | AOS (76 points) from Apr 25, 2015 has flower size at 3.0 cm x 3.8 cm.

For AM consideration, I would like to see this plant producing larger flower and more new inflorescences for better presentation compared to flowers blooming on a few older branching inflorescences.

Mark Werther

This exercise brings up several interesting problems about the fine line that I run into in making the determination for flowers/plant to have sufficient PRESENCE to be scored.

Possibly 15 years prior I saw a hundred seedlings of the RED or 'Chattaladea' form at Parkside Nursery outside of Quakertown, PA. I probably purchased 4 or more of them. Everyone was very excited to see RED and speculate about stories of their generation. There were extensive discussions on slight variances in the flowers:

1. All red

2. All red green segment tips.

3. All red with green edging.

4. Red with various levels of striped patterning.

5. Lighter backs, dark red fronts.

The plants grew and flowered well and many were awarded at many centers with all forms of the variances resulting in large number of color generated awards to flowers of varying sizes, numbers, but relatively consistent general form.

In retrospect, the word 'uneven' by Sergey is accurate. There is no clear path from trying to compare the sizes with a few exceptions. The same is true of the CCM/E record. Again, with the exception of some massive specimens.

I am now faced with a guiding rule. Every entry at judging should not be prejudiced or eliminated if it is not a clear improvement, as each exhibitor is entitled to recognition equaling previous awards; with the exception of latter examples being consistently and clearly superior. If one is looking and finds improvement, then utilize the higher scores in the AM and FCC.

In this case, the VIRTUAL is equal to a significant number of awards and although I would want improvement - it is not easily found. I would consider a mid HCC.

The CCM I find much easier to review. I generally wait close to a week to restudy the entry. I was surprised to see something very obvious on the second review. It is less the number of flowers, but where they are distributed and present themselves around the plant.

I this case, inflorescences go to two of four quadrants only: two front, one left. The length of the inflorescences in not attractive with groups of flowers at the ends, far from the plant. I do not find the presentation pleasing and sufficient for a cultural award.

Mark Werther

Sergey Skoropad

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi.

I will treat this plant as the species - Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi but I’m not will mention any varieties. My opinion based on confirmation from Olaf Gruss and my own research based on several books and articles (“Alle Phalaenopsis-Arten im Bild” by Olaf Gruss, book from 2019; Orchid Digest “The Phalaenopsis Issue” Vol. 83-4, 2029; “A Revision of the Genus Phalaenopsis Blume - VI” by Dr. Herman R. Sweet, Orchid Bulletin, June 1969; “A Rare Form of Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi” by David L. Grove, PHD).

I can find 98 awards in OrchidPro. When I compare candidate to awarded plants I found that flowers of current candidate inside the range of awarded (average size). Compare to clone ‘Red’ our candidate has little smaller NS and NSV (3.0 x 3.6 compare to ‘Red’ 3.2 x 4.2) but little fuller petals and sepals.

Color is very nice, intense and consistent from flower to flower.

I will nominate for flower award and score in mid HCC (77-78 pts).

Regarding cultural awards - this plant has enough flowers (56 flowers and 8 buds) to be awarded CCM but I personally prefer to see multiple growth plant with additional new inflorescences which are going around the plant. I believe it will be more pleasant presentation for cultural award.

If plant will receive award I will ask to submit award to SITF for confirmations.



Exhibitor - Bill Stender, NJ

Grower's Advice

Thanks for taking a look at my small(ish) cornu-cervi.

I have originally taken the photos for a quick Facebook post and then I decided to forward them to Sergey "Just for fun" and I figure you guys don’t have enough to do anyway LOL. Anyway I did a bit of due diligence and looked up cornu-cervi in OrchidPro and I was pretty surprised how uneven the cultural awards were. I knew the only option for an award was cultural, since I had brought it to judging a few years ago and knew that the flower at best were "average" I agree with Mark Werther on this point. What surprised me is that my little plant fell in the middle of a lot of cultural awards. So that why I sent it to you.

The plant was purchased from Parkside orchids at one of their summer open houses back in 2011 (I miss that place). It has been an incredibly slow growing plant and it is long overdue for a repot, but I always err on less repotting. Maybe some fresh media and possibly a basket will spur on some new growths (or it will die). That is the way.

I thought the discussion of it being a hybrid was interesting. I went back and examined lots of images of past awarded plants and felt the lip was totally in line with other cornu-cervi.

Maybe I will bring it back in a few years when it grows up some more.

Thanks all for your comments

William Stender