The paphiopedilum orchids, or more popularly known as Lady’s Slipper or sometimes called plainly as slipper orchids, are an extremely well known orchid genus. It is named as Lady’s slipper because it has a pouch-like lip also called as labella which looks similar to a lady’s slipper. This orchid genus originates from the tropical forests of Asia (southern India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and New Guinea).
The Botanist naming Ernest Pfitzer gave this orchid the genus name paphos which is a Greek word (it is actually a Greek island which has become famous because of its temple to orchids of hawaii Venus who is the goddess of love and beauty of the Greeks) and pedilon meaning sandal. Its scientific name coincides with the unique, identifying slipper-like look of the lip of the flower. Generally there are about 100 recognized species under this genus. It includes many varieties and about twenty three natural hybrids. But the sad thing is, Paphiopedilums have not been successfully cloned yet; because of this its hybrids can be really expensive. But the good thing is Paphiopedilum species and hybrids can be grown successfully from seed which makes it reasonably priced.
Naturally, most Paphiopedilums are semi-terrestrial. They grow in humus and other materials on the forest floor, and even on pockets of humus on cliffs. Others sometimes grow on trees. Thus paphiopedilums are known to have a sympodial growth habit. This orchid genus is indeed quite known both for beginners and expert growers alike. Many species of orchids can be grown easily. Thus, it is easy for them to reward the novice grower with beautiful flowers that have a lasting bloom. The flowers of the slipper orchids are known to stay in bloom for as long as an average of six to eight weeks provided that proper caring measures are carried out. The flowers also have a waxy feature thus makes them appear to look fresh for a longer span of time. It is capable of producing blooms with a lot of variations in terms of colors and forms. Usually the colors of the flower of this orchid genus are white, green, yellow, earth tones, pink, purple, and red. This is why more and more people are enticed to rush into orchid store to have their own orchids to grow.
Some petals of the Paphiopedilum will appear elegantly twisted, while some can be identified with hairs and warts. Usually, the dorsal sepals are larger and the two lateral ones are often joined behind the lip. Thus it makes the flower to appear as if it has two petals.