Paphiopedilum sukhakuliiThis is a fantastic little intermediate to warm growing species hails from northeastern Thailand where it grows at elevations from 250 up to 1000 meters. It is often found near streams in sandy humus-rich loam mixed with leaf in light to moderate shade. I grow it in my intermediate growing room in a mix of bark and lava rocks, medium bright and evenly moist.

The flower measures about 14 cm across which is rather large in comparison to the modest leaf span of beautifully mottled dark and light-green leaves. I got it already in bud at the Sofiero orchid show in May, so I can not take credit for the flower, but I enjoy it none the less. I cannot explain why I have not gotten this species for my collection sooner, the coloration and patterning is quite remarkable really. It is blooming now on an erect purple brown and hairy inflorescence measuring about 20 long. Yet another thing I really love about many Paphiopedilum is the hairs… hairy buds, hairy stems, hairly flowers… aahhh the more the better. Just look at the enlargement of the photos and you will see what I mean. I especially enjoyed photographing this one too, not only because of the obvious beauty, but I actually had the pleasure of shooting outside for once. Nothing really beats natural daylight, the flower positively glows!!

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii