Asahi image Copyright Evelyn Drew

Hybridizing with Phalaenopsis Species
by Bill Livingston

Phalaenopsis corningiana

In this species, the apical halves of the petals and sepals have longitudinal (lengthwise) stripes or bars ranging in color from mahogany red to cinnamon to crimson on a pale greenish yellow base. This longitudinal stripe pattern distinguishes it from P. sumatrana, which has transverse, or crosswise, markings. Floral segments are usually a pale yellow color. The midlobe of the lip and base of the column are deep magenta to carmine, while lateral lobes are orange-yellow, and the rest of the column is white. Phalaenopsis corningiana has not been used much in hybridizing, likely because it has a tendency to grow poorly in the greenhouse and generally does not last more than a few years. Breeding with the mahogany red form, however, has produced some very dark red primary hybrids. Together with P. violacea, P. mariae, and a few P. lueddemanniana clones, it is one of the most fragrant species. I recommend using the plant as a pollen parent, not to carry the seed pod, because you do not want to stress the plant. Use the flower's pollen, and then cut the stem off and send it to the laboratory to have stem propagations made as backup plants for the future.

This article which has been reprinted here with permission, originally appeared in the Volume 66, Number 4 edition of Orchid Digest, (Oct-Dec 2002), which is a Special Edition that highlights Phalaenopsis, and also features an excellent article on Phal culture by the Tuskes. The Phalaenopsis Special Edition of Orchid Digest can be ordered from Orchid Digest for $22. Highly recommended.

This article, all of its sections and accompanying photographs
are copyright 2002 by Orchid Digest Corporation.

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Robert Bedard Horticulture Scotts Valley, CA (831) 439-9484
All content 2005 by Robert Bedard. Last update: 12/10/05
Dtps. Asahi Image Copyright Evelyn Jenkins Drew