Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura

Week 51: March 22, 2021

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura

(Papilionanda Arjuna x

Vanda. cristata)

New candidate for this week is Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura (Papilionanda Arjuna x Vanda cristata).

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura was originated and registered by Martin Motes in 2015. This cross has 5 Vanda species in the background: V. cristata (50%), V. tessellata (37.5%), V. dearei (6.25%), V. insignis (3.13%) and V. teres (3.13%)

Previous Awards:

There are 6 AOS awards for this cross - 1 FCC, 3 AM and 2 HCC. The most recent award is Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura 'MV Raven' FCC/AOS 91 pts (Feb. 24, 2021).


There are 5 flowers on one inflorescence on this first blooming plant. The substance is firm, lip hard, texture waxy, lip almost velvety.

Color of the flowers is little changing depending on the light (inside, outside).

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 5.4 cm; NS V - 5.4 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 1.3 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 2.6 cm;

Petal W - 1.1 cm; Petals L - 2.6 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 1.4 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 2.8 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 1.0 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 2.7 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Five well colored, stellate flowers on one axillary inflorescence just at and above the foliage on a well grown plant; flower count about average for the cross (3-8 max) which appears to be suboptimal for the size of the plant. The hybridizer appears to have eschewed the usual sanderiana/coerulea ancestry in favor of cristata (50%), tessellate (37.5%), dearie (6.3), insignis (3.1%) and teres (3.1). Flower form, therefore, might present problematically. Cristata form has been minimized successfully and the intensity of lip color well captured in this cross as evidenced by the FCC 91 points awarded to 'MV Raven'. Of the prior awards, four have been eponymous, one to the originator, and five of six in central/south Florida(the sixth in Pacific Northwest ,exhibitor/eponymous).

While form and flower count are suboptimal for standard Vanda breeding, as an example of 'novelty breeding", and the capture of the intense lip color of cristata, this candidate should qualify for a low/mid AM.

David Edgley (Accredited Judge, Western Canada Judging Center)

These are gorgeous, brightly-colored flowers on this young plant. They are well-held and displayed, certainly as well as the previous awards, if not better. Color is outstanding, form is good. Lip color is very nice except for the white streaks that I find rather distracting. Overall, I think these flowers compare well with the FCC awarded plant but perhaps not on this blooming. A subsequent flowering might get it there. That said, if I were on a team that really wanted to award it FCC, I would not stand in the way. My score would be in the mid to high AM range.

Carrie Buchman (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura

This colorful flower is a good combination of its parents. V. cristada has narrowed its segments, and bifurcated and colored the lip. The undulating petals are also the influence of V. cristada. This flower doesn’t fit the classic round, full, flat definition, but has its own charm reflecting the characteristics of its parents.

Its natural spread and segment sizes are all appropriate for this cross. It may have the potential for a high flower count as the plant matures given the average of almost 10 flowers/inflorescence of the Pda. Arjuna parent.

Where this flower excels is in the color and distinctive markings. The coalescing of those marking into a halo offsetting the cream column is also a highlight. The lip is noticeable for the rich color on the side lobes and the keels and striping on the center lobe.

I would nominate this plant for a flower quality award and score it in the mid-80s.

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura

This flower has nice vibrant intense dark lavender colour with a dark burgundy spotted pattern on the sepals and petals, proximally dark burgundy. A nice solid colour on lip with contrasting ivory column.

The colour is much richer than many of the awarded plants. Overall, very pleasing colour. The form is good, comparable to other awarded plants, the size is a little larger than the average of the other awarded plants and is in the same range as far as floriferousness is concerned. I think it is a stunning flower, but I can’t get past the form on the end of the lip, for the lack of an appropriate term, it looks like a couple of snail heads. I think this distracts from the overall quality of the flower and I would not nominate for a quality award. I really look forward to hearing the comments of the other judges on this candidate.

Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura (Papilionanda Arjuna x Vanda cristata)


As a Vanda grower my first impression is that I would very much want to grow this plant. The plant leaves are healthy and the optimal color for blooming, and then the form and color of the flower itself is outstanding.

Form certainly took the best of both parents with the grace of cristata and then a strong parent like Mimi Palmer with tessellata to bring it towards full, flat and round. I am especially impressed by the symmetry of the flower and no twisting that I can detect in the petals.

The color and the combination of colors is beautiful and looks like an artist painted the markings on the sepals and petals. The bright purple ring at the base of the column is a perfect complement with the offset of the white. The lip form and markings are lovely. I would really very much like to see this plant in person since the coloring appears different in the photos depending on light and the video did not include the back of the plant.

The flower count is on par with other awarded, but likely has the potential for one or two more blooms for a higher score. I struggled with the scoring because MV Raven was scored higher than I would expect with an FCC, yet I found this candidate to be an improvement over that one.


I would nominate this plant for a flower award. I scored it a high AM at 88.

Thank you,


Ginna Plude (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

This is a well grown plant with nicely colored flowers. As you mention the color seems to photograph differently in each picture but the photos still convey a more intense color combination than most of the previous AM or HCC examples. I question the awarding of an FCC given that almost 2/3 of the buds are not open and the general rule is that at least half should be open. The overall shape of the candidate is consistent with the awarded plants, but the flowers are larger and the segments fuller and well balanced. They also present well; upright and above/outside the foliage. I also like the halo effect around the column and the deep fuchsia/purple lip. Assuming the coloration holds true I would point this somewhere in the low to mid-AM. Note: it looks like this plant can take a while to mature to blooming size (the FCC had about 3 or 4 more sets of leaves) so I don't find the single inflorescence out of the norm. Kudos to the grower!

John Sullivan (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura

This candidate plant has put on an impressive first blooming. I find it to compare quite favorably to several recently awarded plants, including the FCC. In terms of size, it is certainly in the range of comparison. The color and markings are more vibrant than all but the FCC. The petals have a less twisted appearance. Perhaps the strongest attribute I see here is the stance of the flowers, both individually and in their arrangement on the inflorescence. Without being staked, each flower presents in an erect fashion and the well spaced radial arrangement belies the fact that the inflorescence itself is not erect. Flower count is excellent in comparison with the others. Again, I am pleased with such a strong initial flowering. I would nominate the plant for flower quality and probably score it in the mid to high 80 point range.

Thank you for continuing to present these, Sergey!

Martin Motes (Accredited Judge, Florida-Caribbean Judging Center,, Motes Orchids, FL,

The Naming and Making of Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura.

Naoki and my son Bart are very good friends. When Bart learned from Naoki that his parents were upset with his decision not to have children because they thought the family name would not go on, Bart suggested that we would name a new hybrid for him. To further assuage Naoki’s parents concern, Bart persuaded the Orchid Registrar to record the name not only in Latin script but in Kanji, the first time Kanji has been registered in a hybrid grex.

Of the hybrid chosen, we wanted one that we were sure Naoki, who was living in Oregon at the time, would easily be able to grow. A hybrid from V. cristata perfectly suited.

In making Pvda. Naoki Kawamura, we knew that the parent of Pvda. Arjuna (Mimi Palmer x V. tessellata), Pvda. Mimi Palmer (Tan Chay Yan x tessellata), was actually a much more predominately a hybrid from V. insignis than its extremely dubious registration indicated. Neither Pvda. Mimi Palmer nor any of its progeny show the slightest indication of the Papilionanthe teres which is purported to be in its ancestry. A remake by Emrys Chew of Pvda. Mimi Palmer using Pvda. Tan Chay Yan and V. tessellata produced progeny typical of all other ¼ terete vandas. Any objective observer would see Pvda. Mimi Palmer as a hybrid only involving V. insignis and V. tessellata in some combination. The V. insignis element was the attraction for me. Vanda Kekaseh (insignis x cristata) is a delightful free flowering, miniature hybrid which lives up to its name, “sweetheart” in Malay. The hope that using the more complex V. insignis hybrid Pvda. Arjuna in combination with V. cristata would yield progeny in a range of colors and with distinct spots from the influence the underlying pattern of markings in V. insignis. Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura fulfilled this promise in colors from green to orange to red to purple all with the intense crimson lip of V. cristata little diminished thanks to the strong lip color of both V. tessellata and V. insignis underpinning and reenforcing it. Not surprisingly the grex has to date received 6 AOS awards. More surprising would be if the grex did not receive several more following the trajectory of V. Paki, another V. cristata hybrid, which when remade with superior parents yielded 10 AOS awards and an AM from RHS.

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura Virtual Judging

The Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura presented is richly colored and beautifully marked. The lip color is excellent, and nearly fully saturated. This is an important consideration for vandas other than V. sanderiana and its hybrids as well as for Vandas other than section Ascocentrum, as the lip is often the largest, most prominent and most colorful of the floral parts. This flower like others outside those two groups should be judged on the general scale. The flowers are large and round. The dorsal sepal and the petals are broad and well carried presenting a flat display despite the ringen habit of V. cristata. The flower count is a little low, not withstanding that V. cristata typically has two or at most three flowers per inflorescence, the species can on occasion carry more and high flower count is highly desirable in its hybrids.

The plant is a debutant, just learning her first dance steps, and can be expected with proper care to perform even better. Nonetheless, judging what I see I would score the plant an 84 Pt. AM.

Like V. cristata itself, these hybrids may perform better in temperate greenhouse than here in S. Florida where climate change has made the species difficult to grow.

Will Bottoms (Student Judge, Carolinas Judging Center)


We don’t often see Vandaceous orchids in the Carolinas Center so this is definitely a treat. I can say immediately that I find the color on this example of the grex preferable to all of the previous awards. The size of the flowers are consistent with the awards record as is the floriferousness. I think where this plant moves into that "something more” area is in the form - of the awards photos only one cultivar (’Naoki’s Orange Passion’ AM/AOS) has better form than the candidate presented here, though the flowers are of smaller size (NSH & NSV). Others may disagree, but I find the very gentle undulation of the petal margins quite charming as well.


When looking at the awards record and comparing with the current candidate I think I would end up somewhere between a high AM and a low FCC for this flowering. Congratulations to the grower!

Will Bottoms

Bill Thoms (

This is a cristata hybrid (with Mimi Palmer in the background). This means you will get less flower count but higher substance, great smell and shorter inflorescences which are presented slightly off upright.

Color is great, distinctive cristata lip improves the flower presentation. Hard to go wrong with Mimi Palmer.

Based on the previous awards, this is better than the FCC. Whether that was over-scored is moot. I think the award should be high 80s in reality but low 90s based on awards. It shows great form, color and presentation and an improvement over previous clones.

Bill Thoms

Bob Winkley (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Thank you for sending along this candidate - a very handsome flower!

What I find most interesting about the awarded clones to date is the great variation in both color and coloration; this candidate continues to expand the rainbow. I find the cream base color suffused raspberry red and then the clear burgundy spotting well balanced throughout the petals and sepals. The lip's strong Bing cherry red and the columns clear white provide great accents.

In terms of form, I find this is one of the best of the bunch. Sepals are nice and wide with just a hint of recurving at the base of the dorsal. Petals are held pretty much in the plane of the rest of the flower and are not twisted forward. The narrowing of the petals towards their base is again mostly due to the recurving of the lower margin. That said, it is quite symmetrical and not detracting.

Size of the flower is right in the mid range and flower count is in alignment. I would prefer a slightly longer inflorescence so that the flowers were held away from the foliage; this may not be possible with V. cristata as a parent but I think it would improve the presentation.

I would nominate this plant on this flowering and can envision it receiving a low to mid range AM.

All the best -

Bob W.

Exhibitor - Laura and Wes Newton, FL (Accredited Judge, Florida North Central Judging Center)

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura received official AOS Award -

Papilionanda Naoki Kawamura 'Whisper He's The Best' FCC/AOS 91 pts

Virtual Award Description

Five boldly-marked, well-formed flowers on one upright inflorescence; sepals and petals cream, solidly overlaid light plum, heavily spotted darker plum; dorsal sepal elliptical, slightly recurved proximally; lateral sepals broadly lanceolate; petals spatulate, slight wave to proximal margins; lip royal purple, central keel white, midlobe marginal keels plum, apically bifurcate, incised, side lobes cupped; column white with basal violet ring, anther cap soft white; substance firm, lip hard; texture waxy, lip midlobe velvety.

Grower's Advice

We received the plant as a gift from Naoki Kawamura himself in February of this year. My husband Wes has started growing Vandas for the past 2 years and this is his very first AOS award and he received a 91point FCC.

At the judging when it earned the FCC, I did overhear one of the judges on the team say that even though the flower was a bit smaller and the plant not as floriferous as the prior FCC, the color and form were so much better that he would have to score it in the 90’s.

This flower is extremely hard to capture the true color of the flower. It is a much more vibrant deep plum than it appears in photographs and the color looks different in bright vs. overcast days, and even different yet in the greenhouse in bright diffused light.

Our Vandas are grown outside in our backyard under an oak tree during the spring, summer and early fall, when they are watered at least once a day, but twice a day when it is hot. We fertilize regularly and use our plant potion #9 (which is heavy in Chelated elements, mainly Calcium with lesser amounts of Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn, Mo, and Zn that we foliar spray every week to 10 days for good root growth). This plant has been grown in the greenhouse since we received it. Thankfully Naoki kept a keiki of the plant so we don’t feel bad about getting an FCC on a gift. I will say that Naoki was not impressed with the first blooming on this plant as his comment when I posted the photo was “It didn’t look like that last time it bloomed!” One of our fellow judges, Doris Dukes, did share with both of us, that you should never discount a Vanda until you’ve seen it through three bloom cycles, as they change considerably as they mature.

Laura Newton

AOS Award Registrar