A labeling mistake

Phalaenopsis stuartiana

Phalaenopsis stuartiana, looking it in the face.

At a recent orchid club meeting, Sylvia brought a well-flowered specimen of Phalaenopsis schilleriana. That is what the label said. And yes, the leaves of the plant are beautifully silver-marbled, as you would expect. But the flowers were not pink and it made her wonder, rightfully so. Here is what Dr. Eric Christenson had to say about Phalaenopsis stuartiana (in Phalaenopsis, a monograph, Timber Press): “leaves […] dark green with upper surface silvery gray marbled and lower surface purple suffused. Flowers numerous, membranous, faintly fragrant, white, the inner halves of the lateral sepals greenish yellow with chestnut-brown spots, the lateral lobes of the lip with chestnut-brown spotting, the midlobe with similar larger spotting, the callus yellow, the column white. […] Lip […] the apex shallowly notched and flanked by a pair of retrorse, falcate lobules in the form of an anchor […].” It is not easy to identify an unlabelled or mislabeled orchid, but in this case, there is no doubt that this is the species Phalaenopsis stuartiana. It is endemic to the island of Mindanao  in the Southern Philippines and named for Stuart Low. This Phalaenopsis is known to produce many long-lasting flowers and it is certainly worth growing. Congratulations to Sylvia for growing a very nice plant.

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