Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester

Week 57: May 3, 2021

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester

(Rossioglossum grande x

Rossioglossum williamsianum)

This week I would like to present Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester (Ros. grande x Ros. williamsianum).

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester was originated and registered by Mansell & Hatcher in 1983.

Ros. grande (Lindl.) Garay & G.C.Kenn 1976 found in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico at elevation up to 7500 feet. It is also known as a Tiger Orchid. Ros. williamsianum (Rchb.f.) Garay & G.C.Kenn 1976 is found in Mexico and Guatemala at elevation up to 3300 feet.

Previous Awards:

There are 26 AOS awards (29 awards total) for this cross. Clone 'Lucy Isabelle' AM/AOS (85 pts), March 30, 2019 is the latest award.


The candidate has 6 flowers on one staked inflorescence, inflorescence length - 44 cm.

The plant has 4 growths, plus one new growth. It grows in a 5.5 inches plastic pot.

Substance: firm.

Texture: waxy and glossy.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 14.5 cm; NS V - 11.5 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 2.2 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 7.0 cm;

Petal W - 3.2 cm; Petals L - 7.1 cm;

Lat/Synsepal W - 1.9 cm; Lat/Synsepal L - 7.2 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 3.8 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.0 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Six well presented, smaller than average but reasonably well formed flowers on one staked erect inflorescence born on a young plant with at least one fully intact leaf(remaining leaves appear trimmed distally),five growths total. Flower count below average. Form and color better than many previously awarded plants. Presently should qualify for high HCC. Potential for higher score on subsequent bloom cycles as plant puts on further growth.

Carol Beule (Accredited Judge, Pacific South Judging Center)

This is one I need to speak about, as I have an AOS award for my Rossioglossum Grande.... 1/2 of this plant's parents. I grew the plant for at least 9 years until it succumbed to the high temperatures we have had in the last few years. It started out as a one growth seedling and grew to have 3 spikes with 13 flowers in total on it when awarded. (I didn't check, but it had at least 13.)

This is still a seedling when it comes to this type and breeding and in no way is ready to be awarded. Of course there are differences with a cross of this nature, but to be awarded it needs to have more flower spikes and more flowers, period. I like the spacing and flower distribution on this plant however. Each flower can be seen to it's best advantage.

Then we get to the form of the flower. It's the lateral sepals that are the issue here. They should not be twisted, cupped or pinched, and all of these things are happening on one or more of these flowers. While the dorsal sepal stands beautifully erect, and the petals are possibly more pinched and narrow than they should be given the possibilities, the lip might also be wider and more flat. It is also pinched.

I believe this plant would not be addressed as "in judging condition" in my region. I would vote to "pass" if asked to judge it. It can be better when it grows up.

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

The flowers are nicely displayed on the inflorescence. Clear, bright color and markings. I like the fine markings that run along the entire edge of the lip, unfortunately the rest of the lip markings are inconsistent. Pinching on lateral sepals is a problem. Underflowered, small size, narrow segments. I would pass on this flowering.

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester

I am attracted to this cross, had it in my collection but it didn’t survive. Nice distinct mahogany barring on the sepals and and mahogany blotch on petals, contrasts nicely with the yellow background. Great pattern and detail on the lip and column. There are some issues with the form, it looks like the flower might be past its’ prime, the lateral sepals on some the the flowers are in rolled, the petals look as though they have lost substance and the dorsal is a little more cupped than some of the awarded plants. The obvious undulation on the petals is not appealing, other awarded plants have undulated segments but to a lesser degree. In terms of floriferousness, it is on par with average (past 10 quality awards) for flower count, natural spread and most segments are smaller than average. The flowers are arranged well on the inflorescence.

It is a beautiful flower but I would not nominate this plant for a quality award because of the form issues.


Ken Jacobsen (Accredited Judge, Pacific Central Judging Center)

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester candidate thoughts:

There are a lot of Rawdon Jester awards in the record with a fair number of them being relatively recent. As the cross of williamsianum x grande aspires to have the flower count of williamsianum with the flower size and carriage of grande, we should also look at the parents of Rawdon Jester when evaluating a plant. Since we have a detailed and extensive photographic and descriptive record for many of the plants we see come to judging such as this one, we really should take time to carefully review that record. This will assist in uniformity of awards across regions, and the entire judging system – which is a very good thing.

For grande, it’s quite common for a single stem to have as many flowers as this candidate, and williamsianum can have 16 or more flowers per inflorescence. While flower size on williamsianum is quite a bit smaller than for this candidate, both grande and other awarded plants of Rawdon Jester have as large, or larger, flowers. Most important are probably the sepal and dorsal widths and flatness, as these contribute to the overall sense of fullness for the flower. Although the current candidate is fairly flat for this hybrid, the widths are slightly smaller than awarded cultivars.

I would suggest bringing this plant back in a couple years when it’s larger, with a few more, slightly larger, flowers on the inflorescence. Also, if you observe previously awarded plants, staking is usually only done to the lowest flower or two, which helps in the overall display of the flowers on the inflorescence. For this particular judging, I would pass on this plant.

John Sullivan (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

This week’s candidate plant presents as a well grown, clean plant with a pleasant presentation of 6 flowers on a solitary inflorescence. A comparison with recent awards indicates that the flowers are smaller. In its favor the floral markings are well contrasted and well defined with crisp edges.

I would likely not nominate the plant for a flower quality award at this time due to the small size and lack of quantity of bloom.

Thanks for continuing this exercise, Sergey.

Deborah Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester (Ros. grande x Ros. williamsianum)


Also called the clown orchid. Now that I have looked for the clown created by the unique crest of the trilobed lip, I can’t not see it. Would have liked to have seen this impressive flower in person. The plant is staked and presented very nicely.

The form is good. Slight twisting on some of the dorsals, but that segment is held nicely upright. Minimal curling in the other segments and some pinching in the petals. Flowers have symmetry and are pleasing in shape. The number of blooms is about average, but the overall size is larger than most of the recently awarded. The individual segment widths are a little less than average.

The base color is bright yellow, but the barring is lighter in color (might be the lighting) and looks like it should extend a little more towards the apex to be more pleasing; more like ‘Lucky Seven’ (AM 81) or towards ‘Carlisle’ (FCC 95). There seems to be a lack of consistency from flower to flower in the sepal barring as well as the lip markings.


I would pass on nominating this plant this time, but it is still a lovely plant that is very well presented.



Exhibitor - Sergey and Elena Skoropad, NJ (Associate Judges, Northeast Judging Center)

Grower's Advice

We are always excited to have Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester in our collection. First time we acquired Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester more than 15 years ago at Greatest New York Orchid Society Show in Rockefeller Center. Six years ago we received AOS award for our Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester 'Lucky Seven' AM/AOS (81 pts); the plant has 7 beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, after receiving the award Rossioglossum went to heaven.

We have been looking for the replacement for several years and were very happy to get another one with great potential.

We got this plant in a spike and were happy how this spike has developed. Flowers have been opened for two weeks before the photo was taken.

Rossioglossum has a reputation to be not an easy in cultivation (and rebloom). We grow ours in bark mix and water when mix becomes dry. Bright light required to initiate blooming.