The Tale of a Mislabeled Orchid

I was just looking at some orchids for sale on Oak Hill Gardens‘ website (thanks for the suggestion, Hillery!) and found out that my Phalaenopsis amboinensis is most likely a Phalaenopsis bastianii instead. Let’s compare, shall we?


Photo credit:


Photo credit:

Here’s a photo of my orchid (sorry it’s a bit dark…I took the pic a few minutes ago. It’s dark outside, and my lighting indoors isn’t great):

My amboinensis...or bastianii??

Totally a bastianii, right?? This is one of the orchids that I received from Orchids by Hausermann a year-ish ago. Its tag says that it’s an amboinensis, and when the first bud opened recently I noted that it looked different than I had expected. I figured that there’s a ton of variety in orchids, so…not a big deal. But when I saw the Phal bastianii on Oak Hill Gardens’ site, I recognized it immediately: that telltale furry purple lip, the slim, oval petals. I don’t really mind—I think it’s beautiful regardless—but I was surprised to find that it had been mislabeled. I suppose this stuff happens a lot in the orchid world, especially considering that when the plants aren’t in bloom, so many of them look the same!

Has anyone out there ever bought an orchid thinking it was one species, but then it turned out to be something else? Do tell!

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  1. I think yours is Bastianii, if you look at the middle part. I have an Amboinensis, middle part is yellowish exactly like the first picture above.

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