Don Wimber

Week 46: Feb 15, 2021


Don Wimber

(Phrag. Eric Young


Phrag. besseae)

This week I would like to present Phragmipedium Don Wimber (Phrag. Eric Young x Phrag. besseae).

Phragmipedium Don Wimber was registered by E. Young Orchid Foundation in 1995. Phrag. Eric Young is a cross between Phrag. besseae and Phrag. longifolium, meaning this cross contains 75% of Phrag. besseae and 25% of Phrag. longifolium.

Previous Awards:

There are 118 awards for this cross, including 101 AOS awards which is an extremely awardable cross.


The candidate has 6 flowers and 2 buds on one branched inflorescence. One flower fell off when taking the video - now it has 5 flowers and 2 buds!

The plant height is 43 cm, 96 cm with inflorescence. It grows in a bark mix in a 5 inch plastic pot.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 12.4 cm; NS V - 8.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 2.4 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 4.5 cm;

Petal W - 2.5 cm; Petals L - 6.0 cm;

Lat/Synsepal W - 3.3 cm; Lat/Synsepal L - 4.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 2.5 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.5 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Six quite nice flowers and two buds are well presented on one branched inflorescence, well grown plant; size and floriferousness among the upper end of the awards spectrum, essentially comparable with high AM (see Phrag. Don Wimber 'Katherine' AM/AOS 86 Points, 2015 March 27); petals are minimal limitation, slightly narrower and mildly undulate superiorly; color better than FCC (Phrag. Don Wimber 'Martha Helbling Adams' FCC/AOS 92 Points, 2004 March 28) ?overpointed? – award description not very effusive for 92 points!

This candidate should qualify for a mid-level AM perhaps 85+.

Bill Goldner (Accredited Judge, National Capital Judging Center)

Positive points:

  • 3 flowers at least one branch

  • Wonderful color and contrast

  • No color breaks

  • Decent form

  • Proportions excellent

If it stands up to the records and measurements, 77-78 points

Better than some older AM’s e.g. ‘D&B’ AM/AOS out of Florida (attached)

A couple from Natl Capital Region (attached). Nancy does have a branched inflorescence. (attached)

Phrag. Don Wimber 'D&B' AM/AOS

Phrag. Don Wimber 4N 'Nancy' AM/AOS

Phrag. Don Wimber Barbara AM/AOS

Christian Carrillo (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Don Wimber:

This is a very lovely bloom: rich color, wonderful form, and nice presentation. I truly appreciate the roundness of the petals in comparison to other awards that have longer, but much narrower (and wavy) petals. The petals of the candidate look almost flat and they are broadly held. While the flower is a little smaller than some of the more recent awards, I still find this blooming awardable; it has an overall wonderful confirmation that supersedes its size. While nothing more than a parallel award to some of the lower pointed AMs, I still find this flower worthy of recognition. Make it the 119th Don Wimber that is awarded.

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

These Phrags. have a high standard. I love the color. The width and color of the synsepal is a nice bonus. It really gives a full appearance and a nice contrast to the rest of the flower. The teeth on the pouch, clear yellow inside and contrasting spots are interesting as is the staminode. I like the bright central strip of color in the center of the petals. The color of the flowers are harmonious and interesting. Size and flouriferousness is above average for quality awards. Symmetry appears to be good - but difficult to tell. There is crowding on some of the flowers and the way they are presented, but not entirely uncommon for the cross. The dorsal sepal is cupped. The lower edge of the petals roll slightly. One of the flowers has a color break - if more of them had this color break or a tendency for color saturation differences between flowers I would consider this a fatal fault but because (as far as I can tell from the pics and video) none others show any hint of saturation or break issues - I am not considering it a fatal flaw, but fault - it is unfortunate that the best closeup is of the flower with the color break. I feel like I really need to see this one in person to fully get a feel for it, especially the position of the dorsal. I'm on the fence with this one - it has some problems, but I also think it is better than many of the awarded clones both in color and over all form, especially the more recent awards in terms of form. I would probably be in the high HCC, low AM range.

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Phragmipedium Don Wimber

Wow, great growing with 6 flowers and 2 buds on one inflorescence!

There is an abundance of awards to Phrag. Don Wimber and that really sets the bar very high for this candidate. It is a beautiful flower with better form and colour than many of the awarded plants however there are many awarded plants that have better from and colour than this candidate. Both the natural spread and the floriferousness is above average but the narrow petals do not give the flower a full, round form like ‘Samson’ or ‘Gillian’ cultivars. The colour is not as intense or saturated compared to other awarded plants. I think it could eventually qualify for a cultural award given that the grower is achieving 6 flowers and 2 buds on one inflorescence but as far as a quality award I would not nominate this plant.

Thanks Sergey for all your work in setting this up.

Bob Winkley (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Hi Sergey –

Thank you for sharing this lovely candidate with us. Having such a deep and varied award history in such a short period of time (less than a quarter century!) makes the exercise all the more challenging; and in that quarter century the number of remakes - hopefully using superior clones of the parents - must be innumerable based on the popularity of the cross with orchid growers the world over.

The candidate has many things going for it - beautiful color, mature flowers that are relatively flat (petals a bit upturned along lower margins), and a robust, branching inflorescence which makes multiple open flowers possible. It also presents as one of the 'styles' of Phrag. Don Wimber - slightly rounded, but triangular petals with the mid rib not quite held at the perpendicular.

The overall horizontal and vertical spread of the flower compares well with the averages for the cross; there are a few that are larger such as the more recently awarded clone "Littlefrog Ron's Choice"; this clone also seems to display similar conformation of segments. However, for the awarded clone the petals are much broader for a greater portion of the segments length which I find much more appealing and better balanced.

I really like this flower and kudos to the grower for culture that resulted in a great inflorescence and flower count. However, to nominate a plant of this grex I would want to see a fuller flower with broader, perhaps less acuminate petals. If it were nominated by one of my colleagues I could see scoring it in the low HCC range.

All the best

Bob W.

Carrie Buchman (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Phrag. Don Wimber

The color on this hybrid is what you notice first. It really pops! As stated, this hybrid has a rich award history, so the judging standard is pretty high. There are other awarded plants with similar coloring; e.g. ‘Sue Sexton Helbling' with an AM (81) and Sampson’ with and AM (82).` So although the color on the candidate is eye-catching, it isn’t extraordinary.

The form on the candidate is less than hoped. The hooded dorsal is consistent with other awards, but I would have liked to see a more orthogonal stance in the petals to set it apart. The petals also appear to be twisted in one of the photos. The undulating upper petal margin is clearly from the Eric Young longifolium genes and is expected. The flower size is slightly larger than average, but again is insufficient to set it apart. Floriferousness is also about average.

There just isn’t enough to set this well-grown plant apart and above. I would not nominate it for a flower quality award.

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Phragmipedium Don Wimber (Phrag. Eric Young x Phrag. besseae)


Highly awarded cross, and popular for the beautiful returns it brings to the grower. Compared to past awards this plant hasn’t quite reached its robust potential for a culture award so I will consider it for a flower award.

The candidate has nice symmetry and proportion and good general form including the staminode. Petal stance is very good. There is less pinching and undulation in the petals than some of the most recent awards, but they are a little narrow and not as flat. There is a slight color break on the left side of the pouch but the form of the pouch is really nice and full (Eric Young) and does not appear like a droopy open mouth like some. The synsepal is very nice and brings balance to the flower. There is a nice satin to low-gloss texture. Overall size is good but some segments measure less. There is good substance and texture, floriferousness as well as habit and arrangement.

When comparing awards to this plant, I found the scoring inconsistent even among the latest awards of comparable coloring and form. I found a few awards on flowers that seem to be past prime. I scored this plant without finding a similar one as reference.


I would nominate this plant for a flower award and score it an 81.

Thanks for including my commentary,


Exhibitor - David and Joan Rosenfeld, NJ

Virtual Award Description

Six full, relatively flat, stately flowers (one fallen in transit) and two buds nicely displayed on one multi-branched, staked, erect 85 cm inflorescence; dorsal sepal butter yellow, heavily overlaid salmon orange, deeper salmon orange venations and reticulations; synsepal butter yellow, ventrally lightly overlaid salmon orange;

petals butter yellow, moderately overlaid salmon orange, prominent central rib butter yellow, lanceolate, superior margins slightly undulate; pouch butter yellow, externally heavily overlaid salmon orange, veined orange; staminode butter yellow; substance firm; texture crystalline.

Grower's Advice

The plant was purchased in 1998. This Phrag. grown in a 6 inch plastic pot in a saucer of water. Bark mix used medium and fine with additional charcoal land perlite. Not in a bright location probably, 1500FC.