It’s a dreary day in Brooklyn today, but at least it’s not freakin’ snowing again. I’ll take warm and wet over dry and frozen any day. Because I can feel a touch of spring in the air, I’ve chosen to feature a cute little orchid with springy colors: Paphiopedilum micranthum.
This adorable slipper orchid is also known as the Silver Slipper Orchid or the Hard-Leaved Pocket Orchid. It’s native to Vietnam and parts of China, growing on limestone mountains and sometimes in leaf litter and decomposed organic material. I think this orchid looks very much like a giant bubblegum bubble:
Because of that big bubbly bulbous lip (how’s that for alliteration?!), I think these Paph blooms look a little more like Cypripedium than Paphiopedium. For comparison, check out this Cyp that I featured awhile back:
Many other Paph species commonly have more of an elongated lip pouch. The below photo is a good comparison of Paph micranthum and a different species, Paph sukhakuli. The difference in shape is very clear here:
And sometimes, this little slipper orchid even resembles a smiling muppet:
The pouch also resembles something else which I am not going to mention here, but I’m sure you have your own thoughts on that.