Saturday marked the 29th Annual Paph Forum in DC, and what follows is a selection of photos from the well attended show table. At the time I was taking my last photos, though, a number of plants had already been removed for judging, so the table shots are not as filled out as they would have been first thing in the morning.
The left side of the auditorium was mainly populated by complex hybrids sorted according to color/markings, or teacup and novelty groups.
The right side of the room contained the Phragmipediums, and Paph species and other hybrid types (maudiae, multifloral, etc.).
And a contestant from the "Ugly Slipper" class. Clone names in this group were fantastic.
We were also treated to four talks and many lovely photos. The last of the speakers was John of Parkside Orchids. He gave a very interesting talk about what impact the pot plant market has on the hobby market. If the majority of sales worldwide of orchids are in the pot plant market, this then is what supports the business of the large breeding houses. This has different production rules and goals than the hobby market - fast production of strong and uniform plants that will appeal to a customer with a somewhat different set of requirements than an average plant geek. That isn't to say that the pot plant market does not produce good plants, because they in fact do. But the needs of this market largely dictate what the large breeding houses do with their time. For example, fewer phrags are produced by production breeding now because they can't sell enough of them fast enough to make production worthwhile. This is why we see fewer Phrags on the market today than a few years back. Food for thought.
To close, two photos of a nicely variegated Paph. insigne. Now that is a rarity!