Paphiopedilum Fred’s Spring

Week 8: May 11, 2020

Paphiopedilum Fred's Spring

(Paph. Fred's Aura 'Lehua's Pleasant Surprise' AM/AOS x

Paph. Oriental Spring 'Pale Essence')

We are going to week 8 and now we have something different - I would like to present group of 5 plants, same cross.

Paphiopedilum Fred’s Spring

(Paph. Fred’s Aura ‘Lehua’s Pleasant Surprise’ AM/AOS x Paph. Oriental Spring ‘Pale Essence’).

This is unique opportunity to examine 5 plants from same cross, same parents!

I would like to bring your attention to few interesting things:

1. One of the parents is white and green Paph. Maudiae but we can’t see white/green as result of the breeding;

2. Last few years I saw many awards on crosses which are looking very similar to candidate but with big differences in NS (from 11.5 cm to 15 cm NS). For example in May issue of Orchids (2019 AOS awards) you can see some of them on page 399 (#11 and #16), then page 401 (#11).

My question - how we can judge new cross when so many similar plants are awarded - just based on parentage or found some general procedure, based on certain parameters.

Now, please review information from exhibitor.


Paphiopedilum Fred's Spring

(Paph. Fred's Aura 'Lehua's Pleasant Surprise' AM/AOS x Paph. Oriental Spring 'Pale Essence')

This cross was registered by Lehua Orchids in February 2020. This cross is new and has not yet received any awards.


  • Paph. Fred's Aura 'Lehua's Pleasant Surprise' AM/AOS (Fred's Aura has received two HCC's and an AM which was used as the seed parent here)

  • Paph. Oriental Spring 'Pale Essence' (the pollen parent, Paph. Oriental Spring has received two HCC's; one of its parents Paph. Oriental Jewel has received multiple awards and was used as a parent to Paph White Promise which received an AD in addition to am AM in 2019. All green was removed from White Promise).

Each plant is presented with multiple photos and flower measurements.

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Plant #1

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 13.1 cm; NS V - 9.2 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 5.8 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 5.6 cm;

Petal W - 2.0 cm; Petals L - 7.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 4.0 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 4.1 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.5 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.0 cm.

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Plant #2

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 12.1 cm; NS V - 8.4 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 4.6 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 5.1 cm;

Petal W - 2.0 cm; Petals L - 6.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 4.4 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 4.4 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.4 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.0 cm.

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Plant #3

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 14.0 cm; NS V - 10.4 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 6.6 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 6.5 cm;

Petal W - 2.6 cm; Petals L - 7.7 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 5.0 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 5.3 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.8 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.4 cm.

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Plant #4

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 12.3 cm; NS V - 10.5 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 6.1 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 6.6 cm;

Petal W - 2.5 cm; Petals L - 6.6 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 4.4 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 5.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.4 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.3 cm.

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Plant #5

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 11.1 cm; NS V - 8.3 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 5.8 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 5.3 cm;

Petal W - 2.2 cm; Petals L - 6.9 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 4.5 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 4.6 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.7 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.0 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina

Natural spread is only one parameter to be evaluated in concert with many others. A spread difference of 20% would not preclude an award, as you have clearly proven. (Indeed, we have 5 sons ranging in size from 5'10" to 6'1" and we love them all the same!!)

I'm not sure the candidate is a major improvement over the parents but at least one would receive a flower quality award, likely #3, probably a mid to high HCC to marginal AM level.

Assume at least 12 plants exhibited, that would qualify for an AQ, in my opinion. See below FYI:

6.2.6 Award of Quality (AQ) Awarded once to a strain (the result of a mating of specific cultivars), exhibited by a single individual as a group of not less than l2 different clones or the inflorescences thereof, of a raised species or hybrid, which may or may not have been made before, when the result is of sufficient improvement over the former type. The parental cultivar epithets and the hybridizer of this strain, (not necessarily the registrant of the hybrid), must be provided by the exhibitor upon entry. At least one cultivar of the exhibited strain must receive, or have received, a flower quality award. It is granted unanimously without scoring by the judging team assigned. The specific values for which this award is granted must be recorded by the judging team. If the hybridizer and exhibitor are different, each shall receive a certificate. The Award of Quality is not given a cultivar name.

Thanks for allowing me to participate.

Al Messina

Sergey Skoropad

Thanks you Al.

I didn’t expect AQ because we have only 5 plants, not 12. But have at least 5 give us opportunity to see little variation inside this cross.

Interesting that NS in this type of Paphs doesn’t have standard as for example for Paph. rothschildianum!

What do you think about white/green parent, where is it? I can guess that this parent was just regular colored. Will check later 🧐



Al Messina

Grandparent Fred's Ghost is quasi vinicolor

Oriental Spring is album parent which is recessive

So, there you go. Vinicolor usually dominant with variable expressivity.

Al Messina

Gina Plude

Hi Sergey, my feedback:

These are nicely grown first bloom (?) seedlings. 2, 3, and 4 appear to be the flattest of the flowers with nice full dorsal, though they vary quite a bit in the stance of the petals. Compare to the parents none of the candidates appear to have as crisp coloring as either parent, especially compared to the Fred's Aura. There are many similarly colored Paphs, as you mention, and for me there aren't any features of these flowers, in terms of color or form, that makes this cross stand out to where I would nominate it for consideration for a flower award.

I do wonder if the pictures are a bit overexposed which would impact the appearance, but even if the true color were more intense I'm not sure that would change my opinion.


Rob Griesbach

Some thoughts fir the group.

Judging is more than comparing. It also involves setting the standard for comparison. The difficult question is when does one use a "parentage" or "type" standard for comparison. We are rarely very consistent in when we use "type" vs. "parentage" in judging. I will give a few examples from NCJC.

A few years ago at NCJC, we judged a nice lavender cattleya. The plant was a cross of a modern hybrid backed crossed to C. labiata. The discussion on that plant was summarized by a comment from one our judges that 10 years ago it would have gotten an AM, but today the standard is much higher. "Type" won out over "parentage". The cattleya received no award.

Last year at NCJC, we judged a hybrid between a dwarf Paph. species (Paph. helenae) and a bulldog green. The hybrid had intermediate flowers that were fuller than the species, but not as full as the hybrid. The discussion focused on whether the species influence (parentage) justified the shape, color, and size of the flowers. In this case "parentage" won out over "type." The discussion on that plant was summarized by a comment from one our judges that the plant was a cute miniature green. The plant was awarded.

Last year, we also judged a hybrid between a dwarf Phal. species (Phal. wilsonii) and a complex dark pink Phal. The hybrid had intermediate flowers that were fuller than the species, but not as full as the hybrid. The discussion focused on whether the species influence (parentage) justified the shape, color, and size of the flowers. In this case "type" won out over "parentage." The discussion on that plant was summarized by a comment from one our judges that this was a good start in create dwarf phals, but needed another generation to get the shape up to the standard.

A few years ago, we were looking at Paph. rothschildianum awards. We had a roth before us that was slightly better than an FCC given the previous year. The discussion that followed focused on maybe our judging standard should be increased and not give it an FCC. The thought was that we should be comparing it to current Paph. rothschildianum seedlings. There were a lot of questions. Should progeny be better than the parents in order to get awarded? How much better? Should we not expect FCC flowers from a cross of two FCCs? If so, should they really be awarded FCCs? The Roth. finally received an FCC. The reason being that the majority felt that one judging center should not set the standard!

Rob Griesbach

Ed Weber

My comments below are more toward how we judge than what we are judging this week. My ideas may not follow the mainstream thinking of the majority of AOS judges but that is and always has been how my brain works. Should one center set the standards for the rest? If that center has the plant and can justify the award, yes. Change has to begin somewhere. Changing the standards for the sake of changing them? No, that is just wrong. Georgianna Webber, when she first returned to judging and I was still a student, asked me (after I had commented that a Cattleya we were looking at was not "full, round and flat") - "Should every flower that is awarded be full, round and flat?" "Not in my opinion." was my response. Based on her reaction to this comment, I think I got it right. And the Cattleya did finally receive an award.

When I look at this collection of Paph. seedlings I see that Gregor Mendel was right. This is a living example of the high school lesson I had in genetics and the dreaded Punnet Square. We have light, dark, short, tall, narrow, wide, upright and drooping (I know there is probably a better word but, hey, this is an exercise not a doctoral thesis.) And the truth is, this is only 5 plants out of GOK how many. Hardly a sampling that would stand up during any type of formal poll or canvas. Will one of those offspring actually BE the next big thing? I doubt it, but hey, who really knows?

I believe that a cross should be judged on its merits as compared to the merits of its parents and not what the judges "expect" or "think it should look like." Based on my parents, I should be a tall, blond carpenter with a penchant for photography and a love of horses. I am none of these things. Does that mean I am not an awardable hybrid? I like to think my merits stand on their own and compliment my parents rather than being a disappointment because I can't build a deck or photograph a wedding.

Are these nice flowers? Sure they are. Are they the next "big thing"? I hardly think so. Have they improved upon the parents in any significant way? I don't believe that they have. I see no specific outstanding features that makes me think that there will be a rush to acquire these. I don't see the big breeders fighting over them or spending thousands of dollars to have them in their stud corral. But if someone gave me one as a present I would grow it, enjoy it, perhaps one day share it. But would I award it? I don't think so.

Mr. Ed

Sergey Skoropad

Paphiopedilum Fred’s Spring.

Last few years I can see many awards on light colored Maudiae type Paphs created by Lehua. Most of them have wide petals (over 2.5 cm wide) and nice strong upright dorsal.

New cross Paph. Fred’s Spring has seed parent nice colored Maudiae and pollen parent is white/green. As result we can see light color which is not much attractive. Color is consistent within the group.

Size variation from 12 cm to 14 cm NS, which is acceptable and within a range of other awarded plants.

Compare this group of plants to previous awarded similar Paphs I can see that paph #3 and #4 probably will be awarded if presented at the actual judging. Unfortunately presentation of the flowers is not perfect, possible I will take few points off.

Candidate #3 has the larger flower inside this group: NS 14 cm, Dorsal W 6.6 cm and Petals W 2.6 cm. I consider this size as very large. I would score AM 80-82.

Candidate #4 has much smaller flower by NS but overall looks more balanced. Unfortunately it’s not staked perfectly and looks little of center. I would score this one HCC 77-78.

And again, I believe that at the actual judging we can see color better (especially on natural light) and this is will important point to give award or not.



Cathy Higgins

Good morning, Sergey,

You have presented us with a group of five Paphiopedilums, all first-bloom seedlings that have the same parents and are presumably from the same seed pod, though this is not stated. One of the parents has an AM.

The flowers are remarkably consistent in color and shape. Several of the flowers are not fully opened. None has the bright distinctive color of either parent. Several have a petal width comparable to the awarded parent, but in those cases the petals are recurved or oddly shaped.

Lehua Orchids has set a high standard in current Maudiae breeding. To meet that standard, a flower must have distinctive coloration and good shape. Unfortunately, none of these flowers meets that standard. So no award to any of the flowers. Thank you for sharing the group with us.

Cathy Higgins

Elena Skoropad

Very nice group of Maudiae type Paphs Lehua breeding. I would prefer to see them not on the picture. Unfortunately picture doesn’t provide all details. I have a small issue with presentation of some plants on that picture. Plants #3 and 4 are awardable judging by the picture: the size is good, the color is very pleasing, nice balance. The form is OK, plant #3 has nice dorsal and plant #4 has better positioned petals. If we could combine these two in one plant I would be in the lower AM range considering very high standard on this type of bleeding. Maudiae standard was elevated in recent years - we see more and more wonderful Paphs from Lehua.

If we would judge now - plant #3 and 4 would be in high HCC.


Laura Newton

Hello Sergey,

Here are my thoughts on the 5 Paph. Fred’s Spring submitted for judging.

First of all my center (Florida North Central) is extremely tough to Paphiopedilum. The bilateral symmetry has to be pretty darn close to perfect and they are looking for not only improvement over the parents, but also to other similar crosses, and they tolerate very little reflexing.

#1 lackluster color, pointy pouch, narrow petals, dorsal sepal proximal margin reflexed. I would not nominate for scoring

#2 dorsal sepal margin is proximally reflexed, petals distally roll forward slightly. I would not nominate for scoring

#3 better color, nice petals and pouch, but the dorsal sepal proximal reflexing would cause me to not nominate it for scoring

#4 has the best bilateral symmetry, is decent on color, minimal reflexing of the dorsal sepal, the pouch seems a little long to me, and the flower is a bit small. Where I to ignore the age spots along the midline of the DS, this is the only one that I would be able to nominate for scoring, and it would score a low HCC in my book 75-76 pts.

#5 has terrible bilateral symmetry which would preclude it from scoring. It does however have the best coloring and the nicest shaped pouch, but the crooked tip of the DS and the reflexing on the apices of the petals, and the overall cupping of the sepals would preclude scoring even if the bilateral symmetry was better.

We see a lot of this type of breeding in our center and have evaluated several AQ’s from this type of breeding and I don’t think any of these would be nominated here.

Laura Newton

AOS Award Registrar

Graham Wood/Deb Bodei

Hi Sergey,

I followed up with Graham Wood and he gave me the following information about the breeding intent and these particular plants:

These five plants favor the Fred's Aura parent and are still influenced by that coloratum parent. Graham is working towards future generations not having a red-brown overlay on the pouch. He would also like to see the green removed from the petals, while retaining the spots. This is a direction that will take a few more generations to achieve. In the meantime, we still have a unique and attractive look in the current generation with white in the petals.

As for these plants themselves, candidates #3 and #4 are awardable as far as form and color goes, but #4 has a bit of browning on the tip of the dorsal caused by something that must have occurred in my greenhouse while it was still in bud. Candidate #2 also has good form and petal stance and a good bit of white coloring coming through in the petals.

Thank you for allowing me to present these candidates for the virtual judging discussion.

I have copied Graham so he can keep me honest and add to this feedback if I overlooked anything.



Exhibitor - Bill and Deb Bodei, NJ (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)