This stunning species hail from southeastern China and Vietnam where it grows at elevations of 500-1400 meters. It is a small and fairly easy going species. It does not require a whole lot of light and can handle a wide temperature range from warm to intermediate and a grows either terrestrially or as a lithopyhte on limestone cliffs in nature. The leaves are beautifully mottled in a pale and dark green rather graphic modern camo pattern. Commonly called the purple Paphiopedilum it is as to be expected predominately purple but with some really nice white and green accents. The sail is especially beautiful I think, and as with most Paphiopedilum I think the back of the flowers are just are beautiful as the front, usually displaying an exceptionally sensual “neck”, as is the case with this species. I just adore it! The single flower measure about 7-10 cm across and is perched on a wonderfully pubescent (hairy) inflorescence. One of the many things I love about this genus is the hair. The hairier the flowers the better, but that goes for orchids across the board for me actually. Not sure what it is… I just like ’em hairy. I keep it in the greenhouse for most of the year except for a a few months during the winter when I close the greenhouse and bring all the orchids in under lights. I keep temperatures intermediate and grow it potted in a bark, small leca and crushed oyster shell mix. I water liberally during the warmer part of the year with a slightly drier season during the winter after it is done flowering in the fall.
Paphiopedilum purpuratum (Lindl.) Stein, Orchid.-Buch: 481 (1892).