Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze

Week 96: July 3, 2023

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze

(Vanda Karnda (1981)

Papilionanda Arjuna)

New candidate for this month is Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze  (V. Karnda (1981) x Pda. Arjuna).

This cross was originated and registered by Motes Orchids in 2019. This cross has several Vanda species in the background, most important are V. tessellata 62.5%; V. sanderiana 12.5% and V. curvifolia 12.5%.

Previous Awards:

There is no AOS awards for this cross. 

V. Karnda (1981) has 2 AOS awards, both in 1988.

Pda. Arjuna received 13 AOS awards. The latest award was granted in June 11, 2022.


The candidate has 16 flowers and four buds on one upright 36 cm inflorescence on a plant with a basal keiki. Plant is 36 cm wide by 80 cm tall.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 5.0 cm;                   NS V - 5.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 1.7 cm;    Dorsal Sep. L - 2.6 cm;

Petal W - 1.7 cm;               Petals L - 2.3 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 1.9 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 2.6 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 0.9 cm;     Lip/Pouch L - 2.0 cm including the 0.7 cm spur.

Judges' Comments

Ginna Plude (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

This is a situation where not being able to see the plan in person makes things difficult. The color changes across several photographs, and the photo outside is probably my least favorite, color-wise.   

The inflorescence is nicely spaced and the flower count definitely takes after the Vanda parent. There is a lot of fenistration, unfortunately, which probably has to do with why the Vanda parent has only two older awards. As nice as the inflorescence is in terms of spacing, I'm not sure I'd do anything with this plant.  It would have been helpful to have a photo of the whole plant by the way.

Another note, the species percentages are meaningless because what the offspring inherit will vary. The species are 2-3 generations back so while it doesn't hurt to mention what the species in the background are, the percentages should really be left out.  


Deb Boersma (Associate judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze

I really like the results of this hybrid that appears to have inherited great features from both parents. Looking at photos of Vanda Karnda it appears to be a fairly flat flower with wider segments, petals are not as paddle like as with Papilionanda Arjuna. Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze looks quite flat and although there is some windowing it is not as evident as the Papilionanda Arjuna parent. It has taken on the flatter form from the Vanda Karnda parent.  The petals and sepals have better form than the Papilionanda Arjuna parent, it has petals and sepals that tend to reflex and undulate.

The dark grape color is eye catching, looks like a blend of the color from both parents. The spotting on the lip and the intense purple color really make the flower pop, the lip characteristics are definitely inherited from the Papilionanda Arjuna. The faint tessellated pattern on the sepals and petals also gives some nice color contrast.

From the award data the average flower per inflorescence  and natural spread for Vanda Karnda is 19 flowers and 4.9 cm and 9 flowers and 6 cm for Papilionanda Arjuna, our candidate has 16 flowers and 4 buds, quite floriferous and natural spread 5.0 x 5.0. I would say that the size and the floriferousness is well within the range expected given the information regarding the parents.

The flowers are nicely spaced on the inflorescence and arrangement of the flowers looks good.

If this plant was on the judging table I would nominate for a quality award. I scored it at an AM of 81 points.

Kudos to the grower, this looks like an extremely well grown plant.

Jurahame Leyva (Accredited Judge, Hawaii Judging Center)

My first impression of our entry is one of delight. The dark, yet clean & clear, colors of this flower are a feast for the eyes. The tessellation from tessellata comes through beautifully and one can't help but wonder if it is as pleasingly fragrant as it is gorgeous?

Closer inspection highlights the pinching at the base of the sepals & petals - which is less than desirable, but a trait of tessellata. The space between the dorsal sepal and petals, in particular, I dislike. Points off, not a fatal flaw.

Overall arrangement is very pleasing. Floriferousness and "other characteristics" seem to be in line.

As is typical (it seems to me) of this breeding- FCC color on HCC form.

I would score this 83 pts in person.

As an aside - I find the water or chemical stains on the older flowers less than appealing. While I don't think they are bad enough to preclude scoring, if this plant came into our center, it would be pointed out to the exhibitor.



Cheryl Erins (Accredited Judge, Chicago Judging Center)

While it is a pretty plant, I am not wrapped up in the color as I find it muddy. The patterning is muddied. It cannot decide if wants to be pink or purple and as a result the color is dull.   

The flowers have a lot of windows between the petals and sepals but they are fairly flat. There is some ruffling on some of the edges, but we might expect that. The inflorescence is straight, upright, but the flowers are rather sparce on it but the count is somewhat expected. Flower size is comparable to parents but on the smallish side. I could likely find enough points for an HCC but not sure any higher.  

Joe Bryson (Accredited Judge, Florida North-Central Judging Center)

I think this is a pleasing presentation of Pda. Motes Purple Haze; a little more dense on one side of the infl. but otherwise well arranged. Bilateral symmetry looks very good, flowers relatively flat in profile view. Margins complete with little undulations considering parentage; less than many Pda. Arjuna. Flower color is intense with good contrast. Fenestration is expected for this grex, but not overly distracting. I like the overall aesthetics of this presentation. I would award this with an AM of 80-82 points, based on what I can see.


Ed Weber (Accredited Judge, Mid-Atlantic Judging Center)

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze - I am very happy with the outcome of this cross. The color is saturated and pleasing and upon closer inspection under natural light it really 'pops'. It must be a very deep maroon by transmitted light, something that is very difficult to capture in a photograph, but which speaks to the saturation of the color. The entire lip structure is excellent. I especially like the delicate stippling on the side lobes. The flower shape is what I would expect and the size falls into line considering that the candidate has more flowers than the parent awards I reviewed. It is relatively flat as a Vanda should be. Arrangement on the inflorescence and the presentation of the inflorescence are quite pleasing. Because of the upright staking as opposed to the typical arching presentation the ovary lacks the characteristic twist seen in many Vanda. While this does not impact my judgement of the flower itself, it is something I noticed in my review.  I think this is an improvement over the parents. I would nominate this candidate for a flower award. I would expect a mid-range AM. If I were the exhibitor, I might take a few minutes to carefully remove the water spots from the flower segments before taking it in for judging, which might result in a higher score.

Ed Weber
Mid-Atlantic J/C

 James Matthew Sim (Student Judge, Indonesian Orchid Judging)

Comment for Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze. 

The plant exhibited is very floriferous, exceeding pictures of its siblings I have seen in terms of flower count and plants I have bloomed of Papilionanda Arjuna. Not only that, the flower spike is fairly erect, neat and the flowers are well displayed, contributing to a pleasant presentation from this plant. 

In my opinion, the shape of this flower falls into the intermediate tessellata hybrid category and is already quite flat and round overall, although the segments do not overlap, which is a trait of crosses with Vanda tessellata. The Vanda tessellata shows up beautifully in this cross with a lovely, attractive, rich and dark brown tessellated overlays. Even just from a video you can see the incredible surface texture of this flower, which I suspect also has a firm substance.

This plant is definitely one deserving of an award. Judging by what I see, this flowering would receive an award within the range of a high AM to mid FCC of 87 points minimum. I think this hybrid shows improvements from each parent, adding size to Vanda Karnda, and floriferousness to Papilionanda Arjuna.



Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Twenty deeply colored flowers and buds on a well-grown vandaceous hybrid , tessellata breeding.

Suboptimal, mildly non-uniform arrangement and inconsistency of almost all flower segments problematic for award.

Next bloom might present some improvement and perhaps a marginal HCC. 

Hendrik van der Hoven  (Student Judge, Western Canada Judging Center)

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze  (Vanda Karnda x Pda. Arjuna).

A very good flower count considering the contribution from the parents.  Each flower well displayed with good spacing on the inflorescence.

Flowers nice and flat with lip typical of Vanda species.  Flowers quite round with horizontal and vertical measurements the same.

Based on previous awards the flowers are on the smaller size.  Measurements become questionable when the width of the dorsal sepal and petals are given the same but where the petals are actually narrower than the dorsal sepal.

It appears as if there are water markings on both lateral sepals of the single flower shown that are distracting.  The color which is possibly the outstanding characteristic cannot be judged with the photos presented. 

To me (although a characteristic of Vanda tesselata) that I am not in favour of are the windows between the base of the dorsal and petals.

With what is presented I would decline doing a virtual judging of this clone of Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze.

Hendrik van der Hoven, Student Judge, WCJC

Jan Takamiya (Associate Judge, Hawaii Judging Center)

I wish we could observe this bloom in person since it is difficult to discern the true depth and brilliance of color.  The photos are good, but the colors range from brick red to grey to nearly black in different light.  Based on the first/main photo showing red brown with dark brown tessellations, the sepal and petal colors are rich but the contrast and pattern appear muted. Whatever the color, it appears unlike other colors or patterns in it's parentage. The complexion of the close-up front facing photo reveals white flaws, blemishes and water or chemical residual, but these are not as apparent in other photos. The bright purple tesselata/Mimi Palmer lip is outstanding. Based on the parent metrics and dominant tesselata profile, size appears adequate, especially considering the high flower count; arrangement is relaxed & somewhat spaced. Flowers appear flat. The condition of the bloom may not be ideal, but I would nominate this for discussion and likely score a low AM.

Ellie van der Hoven  (Student Judge, Western Canada Judging Center)

My first reaction was that I will nominate the plant for judging as it appears to be a well grown plant with flowers held very well, the form is good and the color on the first image was dark with a contrasting lip. Going through the slides and comparing it with previous awards for the parents I still feel the shape of the flower is good, the number of flowers is very good and the size is not outstanding but average. The color in some of the images is to me too muddy and because of that I will not nominate it for judging.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate.

Ellie van der Hoven (student judge – WCJC)

Elena Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze

Very nice cross! No awards yet.

Parent 1 - V. Karnda(1981) - 2 awards in 1988, not much information available. Very floriferous, nice bronze colour, NS is around 5 x 5 cm, heavy substance.

Parent 2 - Pda. Arjuna, 13 awards from 1995 to 2022. Average flower count is 12, average NS 6 x 6 cm, average DS 2.1 x 3.0. Our candidate take a lip colour and shape from Pda. Arjuna, also it takes nice flat form, elegant flower arrangement on upright inflorescence and firm texture from Pda. Arjuna.

Our candidate is showing an improvement over parents - it has 16 flowers and 4 buds on one tall inflorescence. Flower colour is fantastic! There is a nice contrast between dorsal, sepals, petals colour and a lip. Flower form and shape is very good, excellent flat flowers, evenly displayed on one tall inflorescence. All flowers are fully open and well arranged; flowers are perfectly flat and round, you can draw a full circle around the flower. I would nominate this plant for a flower quality award and score the AM range - AM 83 points. 

Kudos to the breeder and the grower!! Nicely done!

Thank you,


Pam Noll (Student Judge, Alamo Judging Center)

Thank you for sending along the lovely plant of Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze, I would love to have it in my shade house. The flower color of dark burgundy with darker spots becoming tesselations is intriguing, and the fine stippling on the white inside of the lip's side lobes adds interest, as does the purple color of the midlobe and the column.  Flower shape is a definite improvement over the V. Karnda parent, The Pda. Arjuna parent contributed its improved flower shape and reduced windowing effect. This plant does have flower and bud count in its favor. The flower measurement data, however, does not measure up to what I would consider an awardable flower, given Pda. Arjuna's other awarded hybrids. I would not nominate this plant for scoring.


Pamela Noll

Student, Alamo Judging Center

Deb Bobei (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze (Vanda Karnda (1981) x Papilionanda Arjuna)

Kudos to the grower for the culture on this plant. Pristine leaves without a streak or mark and none missing. What a lovely display!

Form is excellent with some fenestration between dorsal and petals but also seen on other recent awards for the Arjuna parent. Color is extremely pleasing, deep saturated chocolate brown with a contrasting bright blue lip.

Most impressive is the arrangement of the inflorescence with the number of flowers at twice the average for this breeding. The display of the inflorescence and the spacing of the flowers is really lovely. Flowers are sized between the two parents.

I would nominate this plant for a flower award, and I scored it 91 points.


Deb Bodei

Martin Motes (Accredited Judge, Florida-Caribbean Judging Center)

Pvd. Motes Purple Haze

              Although in real judging I would need to recuse myself, in virtual judging, I can illuminate the line breeding which is producing exceptionally dark hybrids like Pda. Motes Purple Haze. V. Karnda was produced by T Orchids using a V. tessellata of the south Indian subspecies, which produces larger flowers on shorter inflorescences, in a range of colors from nearly white to so dark purple as to appear nearly black. This dark color emerged in the clone of V. Karnda ‘Hampton” JC/AOS which parented Pda. Motes Purple Haze. The other parent, V. Arjuna, was from the highly awarded re-make by Motes Orchids. Pda. Mimi Palmer is widely agreed to be a hybrid form the southern ssp. of V. tessellata with V. insignis or a hybrid from V. insignis but containing in fact no Papilionanthe. V.  Mimi Palmer AM/RHT was the plant crossed to V. tessellata ‘Mary Motes” FCC/AOS to produce Pda. Motes Purple Haze. Vanda tessellata ‘Mary Motes” emerged from community pots of seedlings obtained from T Orchids. Only one other of the 50 odd seedlings also displayed the incredibly dark color. Based on our subsequent experience breeding with both dark seedlings, this is not unexpected as the dark color in V. tessellata has proven to be recessive not dominant. Only line bred hybrids produce a large percentage of very dark flowers.

              With this knowledge in hand, our objective at Motes Orchids has been to line bred hybrids with larger flowers, fuller form, and longer inflorescences of more numerous flowers. The latter quality was what was sought in crossing V. Karnda to Pda. Arjuna. Influence of V. curvifolia with its multi flowered, erect inflorescence emerged in the high flower count of Pda. Motes Purple Haze. The clone under consideration fulfills this objective.

              Except for Vanda species and hybrids in sections Lamellata and Ascocentrum, vandas should be judged on the General Scale rather than the Vanda scale. This Pda. Motes Purple Haze displays the best qualities of the grex.  First, the deep color which is totally saturated emerging evenly on the backs of the sepals and petals. The flowers are flat showing the best influence of V. sanderiana and V. curvifolia which have also broadened the bases of the sepals and petals. Both species have also contributed to the flower count. Unlike the northern subspecies of V. tessellata, the southern subspecies rarely carries more than 6 flowers on a relatively short inflorescence. The flowers on this Pda. Purple Haze are well spaced giving each flower its space without crowding or eclipsing other flowers as in standard lines of breeding.  Although not palpable in the photos the substance is doubtless very heavy.

              This should be an 85 point AM.

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

Papilionanda Motes Purple Haze 'Whisper Jimi Hendrix' received an AM/AOS (85 points) at the Florida North-Central Center Monthly Judging (Tampa, FL)

Virtual Award Description

Fifteen dramatic, intensely-colored, well-arranged flowers and eight buds on one upright inflorescence; sepals and petals broadly spatulate, cordovan-red, tessellated and blotched extremely dark purple (approaching black); lip white, midlobe porrect, raised keels, suffused deep purple, apically bifurcate, side lobes erect, cupped, speckled deep purple, base yellow-gold; column white, blushed purple, anther cap yellow, rimmed purple; substance very firm; texture satiny, lip waxy. 

Grower's Advice

This was a gift from our friend Naoki Kawamura, who is very particular about how his plants grow and I think this one had roots that stuck out rather than down. After announcing that the plant had been awarded Naoki told us that he threw away his division of the plant because he did not like the way it was growing!

My husband grows the Vandas and they get watered daily and even twice daily in hot weather. They are fertilized weakly along with our plant potion #9 (a calcium/magnesium foliar compound), which produces root and strengthens the plants.