Paphiopedilum philippinense

Paphiopedilum philippinenseThis is a fairly large, warm growing species from the exciting multi-floral Paphiopedilum Subgenus Polyantha. It is found at sea level up to 500 meters primarely in the Philippines, hence the name, but also down through north eastern Borneo. The leaves are thick and uniformly green and can grow to be 20-50 cm long, mine measuring about 30 cm. The size of the flowers can wary widely and get as tall as 22 cm, mine is measuring 18 cm. It blooms with 2-5 flowers simultaneously per inflorescence and it can be an impressive display with the long corkscrew sepals and purple/white striped sail and I adore it! They look both elegant and regal, yet whimsical and sweet, a lovely combination.

I actually grow mine intermediate which is slightly cooler than perhaps is optimal, medium bright with plenty of water most of the year with a slightly drier rest period in January through March. This species is usually found growing on limestone cliffs, therefore it prefers a slightly calcareous medium to grow and bloom properly. I grow mine potted in a mixture of medium bark and lava rocks with a top dress dolomitic limestone pellets (a mineral composed of calcium and magnesium carbonate). I prefer not to mix the limestone into the medium because the pellets can potentially absorb toxins before they are completely broken down and watered through, and this can burn the roots. Besides when you keep it on top it is much easier to see when it is time to reapply. I do the same for all my calcicolous Phaphiopedilum species.

Paphiopedilum philippinense (Rchb.f.) Stein, Orchid.-Buch: 480 (1892).

Paphiopedilum philippinensePaphiopedilum philippinense


By | 2017-10-13T11:25:47+02:00 August 4th, 2011|Categories: My orchids|Tags: , , , , |13 Comments

About the Author:

Karma is a digital nomad graphic artist and writer, orchid nerd and long-distance hiker from Gothenburg, Sweden. Former editor-in-chief for the Swedish Orchid Society magazine, published internationally and held lectures on orchid culture.


  1. salaite August 4, 2011 at 22:17 - Reply

    A very lovely plant, as much I like Phaphs I haven’t managed to re-bloom. It’s a lovely colour combination too.

  2. Karma August 4, 2011 at 22:44 - Reply

    Thank you! I must admit I am bit of a Paphiophile… good luck re-blooming yours!

  3. ade August 9, 2011 at 23:15 - Reply

    Hi,love the pics of the philippinense,just purchase one so thanks for the culture tips!ade

    • Karma August 10, 2011 at 08:42 - Reply

      Thank you, and good luck with yours! 🙂

  4. aneta June 10, 2012 at 22:31 - Reply

    hi Karma,
    it is really interesting and inspiring to read about your plants? i am really impressed! i think this paph species must be the most beautyful paph i can imagine. i have a lot of different phalen, since they are so easy to grow, now i have just discovered the paph family. can you please tell me where did you found this species? is just amazing! thanks in advance and thanks also for you geat web page!
    all the best/aneta

  5. Karma June 11, 2012 at 08:21 - Reply

    Thank you Aneta! 🙂 Paphiopedilum is a lovely genus, one of my (many) favorites. This plant comes from Jydsk Orchide Import in Denmark, I bought it at a show here in Sweden last spring.

  6. aneta June 12, 2012 at 14:01 - Reply

    yes, correct

  7. Dr Gunalan October 23, 2012 at 09:19 - Reply

    hi im from malaysia . Borneo Island . I live in kuching . check out my orchid pictures at facebook ACCCOUNT -GUNALAN NALLIAH

    • Karma October 23, 2012 at 09:32 - Reply

      Hi back from Sweden! Nice collection of orchids you have. 🙂

  8. Greg June 19, 2013 at 21:09 - Reply

    Hi Karma,
    How easy or hard are they to flower.

    • Karma June 20, 2013 at 07:29 - Reply

      Hi Greg. Well, that is hard to say. It would depend on the growing conditions of course, but for me it grows and blooms regularly without too much trouble.

  9. Raylene Evans December 22, 2016 at 23:43 - Reply

    How much light do these want? Bright light? Light shade? This is important to know.

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