Paphiopedilum tranlienianum

Week 47: Feb 22, 2021

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum


This week we have another Paphiopedilum species - Paphiopedilum tranlienianum.

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum is found in two localities in northern Vietnam and one in southern China (Yunnan).

It grows in primary, broad leaf, evergreen forests on highly eroded, limestone cliffs and mountains at an altitude of 40 to 750 meters above see level.

This species was described by Olaf Gruss & Perner in 1998.

Previous Awards:

There are 19 awards for this species, including 12 AOS awards; the first award was given in 2012 (CBR).


The candidate has 1 flowers on one inflorescence.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 7.5 cm; NS V - 7.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 3.6 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 3.3 cm;

Petal W - 1.3 cm; Petals L - 3.6 cm;

Lat/Synsepal W - 1.7 cm; Lat/Synsepal L - 2.7 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 1.9 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.1 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

This solitary flower is better than many awarded as shown in OP, comparable with Paphiopedilum tranlienianum 'Jake Scarbo' AM/AOS (85 points) in

size, form, color and presentation, lacking only floriferousness and professional photography.(Jake Scarbo also received a CCE with 5 flowers on 5 inflorescences).

One can appreciate a well balanced, bilaterally symmetric flower with nicely undulating (dare I suggest goffered!) petals. The dorsal appears standard for the species.

Should qualify for an AM of 81-82.

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

Nice color, especially the staminode and the pouch. I like the short stem - just long enough to be above the foliage. The dorsal is asymmetrical. Underflowered. I would not nominate it on this flowering.

John Sullivan (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum

The candidate is an attractive example of a species relatively new to cultivation. Overall, the plant displays well and has good color saturation. The previously awarded clone ‘Cleveland’s’ received a CHM and appears to have had a superior dorsal sepal compared to the candidate whose size, nevertheless, is larger. The clone ‘Marvin’ which was awarded an 82 point AM is larger yet. For me, a strong feature of the candidate is the horizontal stance of the petals. However, the size of the pouch appears proportionately small. If this plant were nominated, I would probably score it in the high HCC range.

Thank you for continuing to present these exercises.

Bill Goldner (Accredited Judge, National Capital Judging Center)

Hi Sergey,

The tranliemianum:

  • Great color

  • Very good dorsal and petals

  • Lip is disproportionally small.

I would screen this flower based on the asymmetry of the lip/pouch. Rest of the flower is in the ball park for consideration.


Paph. tranlienianum 'Black Canyon' HCC/AOS

Carol Beule (Accredited Judge, Pacific South Judging Center)

Without even getting the attached image come through my normal "Facebook friends" posts the other day, I would have said that this flower has enough issues with its shape to preclude its being awarded. Despite its size and coloring, I cannot overlook the dorsal issue and the petals not being mirror images. If someone suggested that this flower be pointed we would naturally do it, but I would suggest otherwise and ask the owner to bring the plant back on another blooming. Paphs. are notorious for being highly variable from year to year, and if this plant is large enough to warrant it, then waiting for the proper year to bring it in would be advisable. The coloring and markings are fine and possibly more intense than others, but the form makes it un-judgable in my estimation.

In addition..... It dorsal is large and beautifully patterned, as are the petals and pouch, but all that being said, I still stick with my previous decision. It CAN become a perfect flower on another blooming and still be large, and beautifully marked. It just needs to be symmetrical and it most probably can be.

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum

What a cute little flower, with an nice wide, white dorsal with contrasting dark burgundy stripes, it is less reflexed and not pinched like the dorsal compared to many of the awarded plants. Petals are nicely striped mahogany with goffered margins and the pouch is a good size and has nice venation. Form looks relatively flat compared too many awarded plants, the petals have a nice horizontal stance but not as goffered as many awarded plants. A little more goffering in the petals would have given the flower more appeal. Nice yellow contrasting staminode and the natural spread falls within the average based on the last 10 awarded plants.

Overall, I like this plant however I would have liked more goffering on the petals, but the thing that really bothers me and my eyes just kept going to it, is the unsymmetrical or uneven pattern of the vertical, burgundy stripes on the dorsal. The two stripes on the right look as if they were almost drawn on the dorsal with a thick marker.

I would not nominate this plant for a quality award.

Will Bottoms (Student Judge, Carolinas Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum


I absolutely adore the species in Section Paphiopedilum and tranlienianum is certainly no exception. This particular cultivar is very charming. The richness of the color is pleasing, particularly on the petals and the pouch. I’m impressed by the consistency of the rolling/ruffling along the margins of the petals. The measurements seem to be in line with the awards on record. That being said I do have a few critiques as well. While most of the segments of the flower appear to be symmetrical, the pouch is slightly off center (it leans to the left when viewed face on). The right side of the basal portion of the dorsal sepal has a problem with form. The right side of the dorsal also has some issues with color - it is not symmetrical with the left side of the dorsal. I also don’t particularly care for the pinched apices of the petals over the more rounded ones in the awards record.


I think that this particular cultivar has award potential in the future, but unfortunately on this flowering I don’t think I would nominate it.



Sergey Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum

I love this species and always want it in our collection. Very compact size and 12 AOS awards in short time (8 years!) make this species very desirable.

Our particular candidate has large flower compared to many existing awarded flowers. Nice presentation, flower displayed above foliage. Color is great. I like horizontal petals and wide dorsal.

I can see some asymmetry on the pouch. Also asymmetry on the bottom of the dorsal.

I think asymmetry will preclude award, however if it will be nominated could be scored in HCC range.

This flower definitely has great potential and could bloom as perfect flower. Symmetrical flower and same large size could be AM quality.

Kudos to grower, please bring it next time!

Thank you,


Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum


I have seen a few of these in person aside from the one I grow and the first thing I noticed is that the stem is shorter here. The stem only counts for five points, but it does have an impact on the impression of overall form.

Overall symmetry is good except for the uneven curvature or crimping on the right lower side of the dorsal. The purple markings on the dorsal are also uneven and heavier on the right, and not crisp. The petals have a nice stance and are symmetrical even in the margin undulations. The staminode is nice. If the synsepal was a little larger it would give the candidate a little fuller look with less of a ‘gaping open mouth’ appearance in the pouch. It’s a flat flower and the dorsal has a nice stance even from the side but that could be the staking.

Color and size are good. The color is similar to Woodstream’s Black Canyon with an HCC several years back. The texture is nice and glossy.


The flaws prevented me from scoring it high enough to award, so I would have to pass on nominating it on this flowering. I did enjoy having the chance to assess this interesting species and thank the grower for bringing it to us.



Laura Newton (Accredited Judge, Florida North-Central Judging Center)

Hello Sergey,

This is a very nice representative of this species.

I am first struck by the bilateral symmetry of this candidate, and then by the horizontal carriage and almost exact undulation of the petals.

The size of this flower compares well, and it has great balance.

The colors are vibrant.

My only real issue is the square jaw of the pouch, but that is not enough to keep me from scoring it.

For me this cultivar would score in the AM 83 pts.

Laura Newton

AOS Award Registrar

Carrie Buchman (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Paphiopedilum tranlienianum

Bigger than average for AM awards. Nice orthogonal petal stance with almost symmetrical ruffles. Strong central alignment from dorsal through staminode. Green boss shows well against the yellow staminode.

Looks like it has been clipped to show the flower at a better angle. Natural Size is comparable and consistent with average for flower quality awards to this species. Petals are slightly wider and shorter than the averages. Petals twist slightly forward. However, the shorter, slightly twisted petals to not detract from the balance of the flower.

There is a small protuberance just off-center in the pouch which shouldn’t be there. Perhaps this won’t be there on a subsequent flowering, in which case bring it back!

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Exhibitor - Paul Bundarin, NJ

Virtual Award Description

One well-balanced flower on one upright inflorescence; dorsal sepal ovate, distal margin rolled forward, apex acuminate, white, proximal and midline chocolate brown, proximal striations dark raspberry, exterior downy; synsepal narrow, slightly cupped, mint green, proximally blushed dark raspberry; petals oblong, green, overlaid and striped chocolate brown, picotee white, margins hirsute, almost perfectly symmetrically undulate; pouch square-jawed, green, overlaid and veined cordovan; staminode elliptical, bright yellow, umbo dark green; substance firm; texture satiny; irregular markings on dorsal sepal precluded a higher score.

Grower's Advice

The Paph. grows under T5 florescent lights.

I’ve had the plant for about 2 years. It came from Marlow’s Orchids at the last NJOS show unbloomed.

I have always wanted this species since see one at one of the last GNYOS shows at Rockefeller Center but didn’t come across one in person. This summer I repotted it from it’s original pot and medium and put it in power size Orchiata bark. It had a bit of a setback over the summer but it’s finally settled in and putting out new growth. It’s been in a wardian case under the lights as the flower developed.