Paphiopedilum insigne

f. sanderae

Week 43 Plant 3: Jan 25, 2021

Paphiopedilum insigne

f. sanderae

Third Paphiopedilum species for this week is Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae.

Paphiopedilum insigne is found from Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya to China (N.W. Yunnan). This species was described by (Lindley) Pfitzer in 1888.

Although 33 records are retrieved in WCSP (Kew) under the name Paphiopedilum insigne, only one name is accepted - Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall. ex Lindl.) Pfitzer (1888).

I'm still like to call our candidate as Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae (Rchb.f.) Olaf Gruss & Roeth (1999) or as previosly known, Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae (Rchb.f.) Pfitzer (1903). We can find 4 forms and varieties for white/green flowers of Paphiopedilum insigne: Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae; Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae; Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderianum; Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderianum.

Previous Awards:

This species has been awarded 37 times including many varieties and forms and 27 of those are AOS awards. 14 of them granted to var. sanderae (sanderianum). The latest award is Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae 'Jardin Botanique de Montreal' CCM/AOS 81 pts (Nov 20, 2010).


Our candidate has two flowers and one bud on three up to 17 cm Inflorescences.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 9.7 cm; NS V - 9.9 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 4.1 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 5.7 cm;

Petal W - 2.0 cm; Petals L - 6.5 cm;

Lat/Synsepal W - 2.0 cm; Lat/Synsepal L - 4.7 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 2.9 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.6 cm.

Judges' Comments

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

Paph. insigne f. sanderae

Beautiful color, well presented above the foliage. Size is on the smaller side, width of segments is narrower than awarded clones. Petals are more forward, creating more cupping. Petals are asymmetrical. I would pass on the flowering.

Ginna Plude (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paph insigne var/fma sanderae/sanderianum (a flower by many names!)

This is a well grown plant with nicely colored flowers. In looking at awarded Paph insigne fma/var sanderianum the measurements of the candidate fall right in the middle, not the largest or smallest but on the smaller end of the range. The confirmation of the flowers look to be fairly typical of the species. As nice a plant as this one is, I probably would not nominate it because it's not giving me anything that makes it stand out among the previous awards. The multiple inflorescences are a potential indicator that as the plant matures it might warrant a culture award but not yet.

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum insigne formum sanderianum:

Three flowers and one bud one three staked erect inflorescences; size, form and color comparable with other sanderianum forms. Should qualify for high HCC/marginal AM.

For taxonomically correct Latin, since the gender should agree with the genus, the correct Latin should be "formum sanderianum" (all neuter).

Forma is feminine and so forma sanderae is feminine and does not agree with Paphiopedilum, which is neuter. It appears that in all of AOS awards history, only one award was spelled correctly: Paph. insigne f. sanderianum 'Silver Creek' HCC/AOS 77 Points, 2006 December 9.All others were var. sanderianum, or var. sanderae or something else---incorrect. Thanks much for your comments.

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae

This is a beautiful flower, the form is good, typical of the species. It does looks symmetrical but it is difficult to see without a photo of the flower straight on. The yellow colour really catches your eye, it is vibrant and has good saturation. I found that this cultivar has better colour saturation than other awarded plants. The broad white rim on the dorsal frames the yellow nicely. Nice darker green veining on the petals and dorsal. Many of these traits are seen on other awarded plants but I think the colour is much better. The size is slightly smaller than the calculated average and the flower count is average. The flowers are held nicely above the foliage.

I would nominate this plant for a quality award and I scored it at 77 HCC.

Bill Goldner (Accredited Judge, National Capital Judging Center)

Insigne sanderae is my favorite of the three. Good color, size, and decent form.

Dave Sorokowsky (Accredited Judge, California Sierra Nevada Judging Center)

Paph insigne sanderae

Nice color and form, but just average for what is out there. I would not score it.

Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum insigne f. sanderae


The overall color is very nice, especially the bright white halo on the dorsal. I don’t particularly like the scattered fine dotting that appears centrally on the dorsal and find it distracting.

There is some asymmetry in the dorsal and the petals. The dorsal is upright, but slightly twisted making the pinching at the apex appear uneven. It looks like the petal on the right is rolling forward. I think the green/white ‘Silver Creek’ awarded an HCC of 77pts in 2006 has better form and is a more balanced flower. The pouch and synsepal look a little small compared to the top half of the flower.

The overall size of all segments are average with narrow petals like most of the green/white forms.


I am not moved to nominate this plant on this flowering.

Thank you for including my commentary,


Sergey Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paph. insigne f. sanderae

This is my favorite color form. I like this color and I’m trying to collect alba or sanderae forms of the different Paphiopedilum species.

Actually, most of the Paphs. insigne of this color labeled in the trade as Paph. insigne var. sanderae (and I have one of them).

In WCSP (Kew) I can find 2 varieties and 2 forms (sanderae and sanderianum). Although they are not officially accepted by Kew these names widely accepted in the trade.

I found similar situation in OrchidPro when you can see many different varieties and forms for the same looking flowers!?

I discussed this situation with Olaf Gruss and it’s become more or less clear to me.

Originally variety sanderae was established by Reichenbach in 1888 and var. sanderianum was described by Rolfe in Orchid Review in 1903.

Olaf Gruss proposed to change varieties to forms in 1999 (because they are just a color forms). That’s make sense!

For now, even if Kew not accepted forms, I believe correct name in the trade and possible in OrchidPro will be f. sanderae and f. sanderianum.

Main question what is the difference between these two forms?!

I guess (and Olaf Gruss confirmed) Paph. f. sanderae has some dark color spots/dots on the dorsal, like our candidate, however Paph. f. sanderineanum doesn’t have any colored spots on the dorsal.

Back to our candidate.

I found these flowers are very pleasant. Plant looks very nice. However, it’s far far away from cultural award because Paph. insigne can create huge climb of growth and many flowers.

Regarding quality award I’m not in favor to nominate this flower because:

flowers are little smaller than awarded clones, petals are narrowed and shape overall is not superior as I hope to see.



Olaf Gruss (Germany)

About 3 shown clones.

All three are really nice clones, the shape is excellent. But for the first view based on pictures I cannot say these are extraordinary in the quality. The color of the villosum is really beautiful, but it can be also the result of the photography.

The insigne forma sanderae has typical shape, coloration and perhaps also typical dimensions.

About the varieties and formae.

Kew doesn’t accept color forms as distinct from the typical forms.

The reason for rejecting this classification is that the coloration of the flower is lost when the herbarium specimen is dried. Thus, the classical documentation with a herbarium voucher is not conclusive.

Rafael Govaerts from Kew doesn’t accept the forma, Philipp Cribb accepts it sometimes, Guido Braem has described some color forms. Eric Christenson also accepted it. I think it makes sense to document and describe these color forms in a sense of the orchid friends who want to be sure about the names.

About the large number of varieties in the literature of Paphiopedilum insigne. Beside the accepted f. sanderae and sanderianum you find in the literature the following

var. albens, albomarginatum, albounguiculatum, amabile, Amesianum, amoenum, Arnoldianum, aspersum, aureo-album, aureum, Ballianum, Barri, biflorum, Bohnhofianum, Boiesianum, Brownii, citrinum, coloratum, Colsonianum, corrugatum, Comperianum, Cuhingianum, Cypheri, Dominii, Dormanii, Duvalii, elegantissimum, Ernesti, exquisitum, Eyermannianum, Foerstermannii, Fraseri, Freemanii, fuscatum, giganteum, Gilmoreanum, grande, Gravesianum, guttulatum, Hardyanum, hieroglyphicum, himalaicum, Holzhausenianum, Horsmanianum, illustre, Krausianum, Ledouxii, longisepalum, Luciani, Lutchwycheanum, Mac Faddenii, Mac Farlanei, maculatum, Madouxianum, Mandevilleanum, Margaritae, marmoratum, maximum, Matchianum, Measuresae, mirandum, Moensii, montanum, Mooreanum, moulmeinense, musaicum, nitens, nobile, ornatum, parviflorum, picturatum, pulchellum, pulcherrimum, Pynaertii, radiatum, Richardii, Robinsonianum, rubromaculatum, rubromarginatum, Sanderianum, Savageanum, speciosum, Wallacei, sylhetense, Tautzianum, Tresederi, violaceum, viride, Wallisii, Wilsonii, Wiotti, woodlandense, Wrightianum.

All these are clonal names for single plants which were shown in exhibitions or came in trade.

They are all within normal spread of the species. Botanists like Pucci, Stein and Desbois have collected the large number of names from the literature and put them together in their books, without usually making a description.

Because of the great variability of the species I have also in my new book on the genus Paphiopedilum presented the individual species each with many pictures and have planned this also in the second volume for Paph. insigne.

I start with the easier question – sanderae and sanderianum. Both forms were described officially. Sanderae by H.G. Reichenbach in Gardener’s Chronicle. The whole issue can be found in the net.

Sanderianum was described by Rolfe in Orchid Review.

Here the first one

Paphiopedilum insigne forma sanderae (Rchb.f.) O. Gruss et Roeth

Caesiana 12: 62; 1999


Cypripedium insigne var. sanderae Rchb.f., Gardeners’ Chronicle 3rd. ser., 4: 692 (1888).


Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderae (Rchb.f.) Pfitzer, Engler, A., Das Pflanzenreich 4(50) Heft 12:74 (1903)

Cypripedium Insigne (Wall.) Sanderae (Hort.Sand.) in

Gard. Chron. ser. 3, 4:692. December 1888

Baron von Schroder had the kindness to send me this surprisingly beautiful novelty, which was imported with other varieties by Mr. F. Sander, and dedicated by him to Mrs. Sander, a great lover of Orchids. It is very beautiful; the odd sepal has the upper part white, the white colour descending on both sides onto the margin. The lower part is light yellowish green, with a few small brown spots on each side of moderately dark tint. The broad connate sepal is light yellow, with two very small brown spots at the base. Petals nearly undulate, rather broad and blunt, sulphur coloured. Lip darker sulphur coloured. Staminode bright yellow, with the knob of an orange colour. Peduncle and bract light green. This is decidedly a most remarkable plant, and a fresh ornament to the collection of Baron von Schrõder.


And here the sketch made by Reichenbach f. which you can find in the herabrium in Vienna.

Sketch of H.G. Reichenbach f.

The second one:

Paphiopedilum insigne forma sanderianum (Rolfe) O. Gruss et Roeth

Caesiana 12: 62 (1999).


Cypripedium insigne var. sanderianum hort., The Orchid Review 1:145 (1893).


Paphiopedilum insigne var. sanderianum (hort.) Pfitzer, Engler, A., Das Pflanzenreich 4(50) Heft 12:74 (1903).

I marked the difference between these 2 forms in the first description. In the forma sanderae you find always these spots on the dorsal sepal. Forma sanderianum has no red or pink coloration, no points no maculation.

As Paphiopedilum insigne luciani in Lindenia DV

Exhibitor - Longwood Gardens, PA (orchid grower - Greg Griffis)