It is easy to see where the inspiration for the name of this gorgeous Paphiopedilum Vinicolor came from… from a nice vintage of light-styled classic Pinot Noir in the dorsal sepal, to a deep ripe Syrah through the petals and lip. I bought this nice plant in bud from Orchidéhuset a few weeks ago, so I cannot take credit for the flowers, but I am enjoying them all the same. The flowers are large, almost 12 cm tall, with distinctly voluptuous shapes. It is notoriously hard to photograph, but I finally caught the nice wine red color somewhat true to form.
My friend Peter at Orchidéhuset was telling me about these Vinicolors. What gives them the name is apparently not the color of the flowers, but rather the dark red underside of the leaves. The flowers are actually a mutation, one most commonly seen in Paphiopedilum Maudie coloratum. But Vinicolor has become more or less a collective name for all dark burgundy to almost black Paphiopedilum. Since this species can only be propagated by seed or division, one cannot rely on clones to carry the red mutation – why Vinicolors can be considered somewhat unusual.
Peter’s Vinicolors are from an old batch that he has actually followed from grower to grower for almost 20 years. There are not many left in circulation now, but I believe Peter has close to 50 different ones in his private collection. In the beginning the growers thought he was crazy for collecting these mutated plants, but like all things unusual they eventually fall into fashion and become desirable. Personally I adore the unusual and feel fortunate to be the owner of one of the special Vinicolors with a story, much like a good vintage of wine.