Paphiopedilum Taxonomy According to Dr. Guido Braem and Dr. Guy Chiron

Braem, G., Chiron, G. Paphiopedilum. Tropicalia: France 2003. Pp. 19-33.

(Type Species)
Section Subsection Chromosome Count, 2n = Pollen Flowers Per Inflorescence Leaves Flowers Petals Dorsal Sepal Pouch Staminode Closely Related
26 granular one, rarely two tessellated     smaller than petals distinctly calceolate; thinly plicate   Subgenus Brachypetalum
26 viscous one, rarely two tessellated   similar to dorsal in shape and coloration   thick walled; ovoid; sometimes pointed; fleshy; not plicate; margins infolded; poorly developed lateral "ears"   Subgenus Parvisepalum
26, 30 viscous one, rarely two plain       ovoid; distinctly pointed; fleshy; with well-developed lateral "ears"    
  Paphiopedilum           lanceolate; gradually widening toward the tip   relatively short shield inverted heart-shaped with a horn-shaped protuberance  
Stictopetalum         densely hairy broad; lanceolate; horizontally spreading; "wavy with distinct undulations from the base to the middle portion of the upper margin"   long; slightly constricted    
Thiopetalum           distinct longitudinal middle stripe distinct longitudinal middle stripe     Section Paphiopedilum
32, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 41 granular one, rarely two tessellated     synsepal distinctly larger than dorsal sepal shaped like an inverted helmet; well-developed lateral "ears" shield semi-lunate  
Spathopetalum           spathulate; widened behind apex; margins ciliated; base rarely ciliated indistinct longitudinal stripes; upper half margins strongly incurved   shield nearly circular to oblong rhomboid  
  Macronodium                 shield relatively large  
Spathopetalum         "Can only be properly differentiated by the size of the notch in their staminodal shield and by the "clarity" or obscurity" of the mottling of their leaves."       shield rhomboid or cordate, not suborcular  
Blepharopetalum       linear oblong   not distinctly broadened toward the apex; no distinct purple spots; upper half usually darker than the lower half white or purple; upper part of margin not strongly curved inward   shield horseshoe shaped, moon-shaped, or inverted heart-shaped Section Spathopetalum
Punctuatum           narrowly spathulate; gradually widening toward the apex; only slightly ciliate with almost entire margins        
Planipetalum           narrow oblong; always untwisted; same width over much of their length narrow oblong; distinctly striped   shield half-moon to horseshoe-shaped  
Barbata       under-surface uniformly pale- green, slightly tinged with purple   margins with well-developed cilia; linear-oblong; twisted near apex distinct longitudinal stripes   shield semi-orbicular to oblong  
  Barbata           warty, long ciliated spots at the margins large; nearly rounded; widest above the middle; margins gently recurved in the upper half      
Loripetalum           marginal portion without large, warty ciliate spots; margins uniformly and regularly covered with long black cilia relatively small and ovate; apical margin slightly curved to the inside; forming a sharp point at the apex   shield semi-orbicular, covered with minute hairs Subsection Barbata
26 granular multifloral plain, fleshy open nearly simultaneously     shaped like an inverted helmet    
  Polyantha           narrow; spoon-shaped; roughly blotched with deep purple spots on the basal to middle portions   lateral "ears" on the main lobe    
Mystropetalum           do not widen toward the apex; strongly twisted       Section Polyantha
Mastigopetalum             uniform in size, shape, and color pattern with synsepal lateral "ears" only on P. randsii; margins curved inward except in P. adductum and P. anitum    
30, 32, 34, 36, 37 granular multifloral tessellated open sequentially     shaped like an inverted helmet    

1"There is no doubt that these seven plants form a distinct and autonomous entity within the genus, and their combination into the subgenus Parvisepalum stands without question....It has even been suggested that the Parvisepalums are to be seen as a link between Cypripedium and Paphiopedilum."
2"Subgenus Brachypetalum and subgenus Parvisepalum are considered to be primitive parts of the genus Paphiopedilum."

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Last Updated: 11-29-05