Here are a few snapshots I took at the 2008 Paph Forum, for those of you who were not able to make it to this event.
First up we have Phrag. Fritz Schomburg 'Katherine', exhibited by H.P. Norton. The flower had large size, full shape, and pleasing art-shade color. Parentage is (kovachii x besseae), registered by Piping Rock Orchids, but I believe the Norton's bred this one themselves. HP spoke on kovachii's special needs at the forum, explaining to us all that this species requires significant amounts of lime in the media. He says if you meet this need the plants are speedy growers, reaching flowering size in his greenhouse from seed in about 2 years. Additionally, HP has bloomed several assorted kovachii hybrids and he says that none have bloomed out that wonderful dark purple that the species is noted for.
This is Paph. venustum 'Tequila Sunrise'. This nicely colored flower was awarded a Silver Medal at the 19th World Orchid Congress, but the judges at the Paph Forum decided the flower was not at its best anymore and decided not to add an AOS award at that time. Perhaps it will get one on the next blooming. The flower had good size for venustum, and very appealing color on the petals.
This rather odd looking thing is Paph. Tonya. It was given a first place ribbon in its class and the judges commented that the extra tissue ridges on the pouch. The judges commented that many of us have seen that occur on the odd complex paph flower, but that of course this is rarely either consistent or symmetrical. This plant however had three flowers and all had symmetrical ridges as you see on this flower.
This specimen of Paph. Snowbird 'Opalescence' AM/AOS, CCM/AOS (82pts) was exhibited by Woodstream Orchids. My photo does not do the plant justice. It is a very well grown plant with around 8 flowers and 5 buds. The CCM was awarded at the paph forum and the plant got a blue ribbon in its class.
Similarly, this plant of Phrag. Jason Fischer 'Linwood Coleman' HCC/AOS is a very nicely grown plant. The judges commented that they had not seen another Jason Fischer with quite so many flowers and buds at one time. Indeed it was a striking specimen and a cinch for the blue ribbon in the "red and orange besseae-influenced hybrids" class, as well as a few other rosettes.
Paph. Magic Dust 'Pixie'- a lovely shape and clean color on this plant. We were reminded at the forum of Merit Huntington's habit of looking at the backside of a complex paph to see if it was "round, firm, and fully packed." This young plant did quite nicely on the test.
I'll end with two species photos, Paph. farrieanum on the right, displayed by Woodstream Orchids, and Paph. appletonianum 'Valley Fields hainanense' on the bottom. This appletonianum has particularly dark color for the species and was quite appealing. Dr. Leonid Averyanov of the Russian Academy of Science spoke to us on the "Natural Variation of Paphiopedilum Species in Vietnam". P. appletonianum was one of the species he mentioned. Once a common species, now difficult to find, it grows in primary forests at high elevation in silicate areas. Habitat contains heavily mossed trees with open leaf litter between them. It seems there are many species of Vietnam that are threatened in their natural habitats due to land development.