What is Cypripedium Insigne?
Scientifically known as Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall. ex Lindl.) Pfitzer, Cypripedium insigne is an orchid. It's not just easy to grow, but also grows fast. The terrestrial plant is categorized under the Orchidaceae family and the Cypripedioideae sub-family.
Commonly known as the twin-flowered lady's slipper, the terrestrial orchid has many synonym names. It is also referred to as Cypripedium chantinii, maulei, moensii, maximum, forstermanii, amoenum, sanderianum, tresederi, nilsonii, sanderae, wallacei, speciosum, cypheri, biflorum and amesianum, just mention a few.
The many synonyms used to refer to this orchid is a clear indication of the difficult, misleading and complex process orchid experts undergo trying to classify it taxonomically. The rare plant is native to China and northeast India. The orchid populations in Thailand and Bangladesh have significantly reduced over the years.
Ruthless international and regional trade, plant habitat degradation due to animal trampling, human disturbance and deforestation, and exploitation of Cypripedium insigne for its horticultural benefits have been attributed to its reduced plant population in Bangladesh and Thailand.
The plant has been declared an endangered species with possible extinction in Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. It is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) under Appendix I, Annex B.
Cypripedium insigne has about 5 to 6 alternate leaves that are deep green on the upper side and light green beneath. The leaves are linear-elongated or narrow elliptical and can grow up to 3.5 cm wide and 30 cm long. They are obtuse, leathery, coriaceous or tridenticulate on the upper side.
Featuring a greenish-purple peduncle that grows up to 25 cm high, it has a pubescent that's heavily purple. With a single flower at the top, the orchid's scape stands upright. The sepal is oval-elliptic, glabrous with purple spots and can grow up to 3 cm wide and 5 cm long.
The ovary and pedicel feature a purplish pubescent and can grow up to 6 cm long. The dorsal sepal and the synsepal have wide, white margins, greenish-yellow pigment at the center and are brown-or-purple-or-purplish-brown-spotted. The orchid flower has a diameter of about 7 cm to 10 cm at full bloom.
Whereas the helmet-shaped lip is yellowish-green or yellowish-brown with narrow-green margins and brownish stripes, the flower petals are brownish-yellow and feature veins that are dark. The oblongated or spatular petals can grow up to 2.2 cm wide and 5.5 cm long.
Moreover, the tridenticulate or top-rounded petals have undulated margins, atop being pubescent and purplish at the base. The lip can grow up to 2cm wide and 2.5 cm to 5 cm long. Both surfaces of the oboval and yellowish pouch have purple puberulent and an ulbo at the center. The pouch can grow up to 9 cm wide and 10 cm long.
Paphiopedilum is a name that was obtained from the Greek word 'paphia', meaning an aphrodite characteristic and 'pedilon' meaning sandal. The name Insigne comes from the Latin word 'insignis', meaning distinguished or remarkable.
Ecology of Paphiopedilum Insigne
In India, the orchid grows in light shades and near waterfalls on limestone outcrops' dolomite. On the other hand, it grows on rocky slopes, grassy areas rich in litter or in evergreen forests with broad leaves in China.
Paphiopedilum Insigne Care & Cultivation
Cypripedium insigne does well in moderate temperatures ranging from 11 to 22 0C. It requires diffused light and 60% to 80 hygrometry. It can grow on moist clay pellets, fine bark or sphagnum that can be used as the substrate. However, the substrate must never harbor stagnant water.
In the growing season, the plant can be fertilized with four diluted orchid fertilizers during watering. However, the plant doesn't require watering in winter. It can be propagated by division and grown indoors as a houseplant in pots or outdoors in the garden. It blooms in winter.
Uses of Cypripedium Insigne
The twin-flowered lady's slipper is high in demand. The ornamental plant is extensively used as a commercial horticultural plant, and collected for international and domestic trade. It is mainly used for hybridization with other related plants.
Do you want to grow Paphiopedilum insigne var sanderianum as a houseplant? We have large grow pots you might want to check out to hold your ornamental plant.