I am generally not that big on hybrids, although many very beautiful crosses exist, I find the natural species more of a thrill to grow. Slipper orchids being an exception to this rule. I am rather intrigued with the fascinating selection of primary hybrids created here. With primary hybrids, being a cross between two pure species, you can still track the lineage and in most cases clearly see what each parent bring to the table. Kind of cool actually! In the really successful ones, such as this one, actually managing to if not improve, but at least expand on the natural beauty. Paphiopedilum Magic Lantern, and since we are dealing with a hybrid the name should be capitalized and italicized as such, is the result of a cross between Paphiopedilum micranthum x Paphiopedilum delenatii, both from the Parvisepalum subgenus. In my opinion, the result could not have gotten any better with the offspring taking the absolut best from each side. The magical, almost obscenely large, micranthum labellum (lip) and the larger more full delenatii dorsal sepal and petals. Too bad it did not carry the lovely delenatii scent too, but crosses rarely do. Not only is the flower fabulous, the mottled dark and pale green leaves are beautiful on their own when not in flower. I grow mine intermediate, in a medium bark mix under medium light conditions. It is easier to grow than the reputedly finicky seed parent, micranthum, and it is a nice compact plant with a very large flower in relation to the leaves. A flower that lasts for a really long time too, this one has been going for a couple of months already and is showing no signs at tiring yet. What’s not to love?

Paphiopedilum Magic Lantern (P. micranthum x delenatii)