Architecture of a Phaius flower

Blütenbild Phaius by Eike Jauch

A Phaius flower posseses 6 perianth leaves, better said three plus three perianth leaves. The three exterior perianth leaves are called sepals, the three interior ones are called petals. The median leaf of the inner circle of perianth leaves forms the lip and differs significantly from the two other petals. On the lip excrescences like lumps, callices or keels and extensions like a spur can be present. The column is the characteristic feature of an orchid flower, it is found in the centre of the flower. It is a coalescence of all the male and female reproductive organs and is often termed the Gynostemium. Regardless of its absolute and relative size, the reproductive parts are always at its tip. Only one stamen is left in Phaius, in slipper orchids two of them can be found, the distantly related lilies posses three male fertilizing organs. The stamen forms solid pollen-parts, the so called pollinia, in Phaius eight of them can be found.

pollinia by eike jauch

The pollinia are tough, waxy and precisely delineated structures. The pollinia are held together by a sticky mass, a stipe interpolates itself between the pollinia and the sticky mass. The conglomerate of pollinium, sticky mass and stipe is called pollinaria. Until reaching maturity they are hidden under a structure called anther. The anther will fall off when the pollinaria are removed by a pollinator. The fine structure of the pollinaria provides the most important clues to the group of related species to which an orchid belongs.

The pollinaria are housed at the tip of the column in a cavity called clinandrium. The clinandrium may have a collar-like back wall. The stigma, which is the fertile female part of the flower, is usually located just underneath the clinandrium. A rostellum usually separates the stigma from the pollinarium. The rostellum is part of the stigma and is a kind of roof which prevents the flower from self-pollination. In Phaius it lacks in self-pollinating flowers, for example in Phaius tankervilleae var. antoninae.

If a Phaius flower bud would open normally, the lip of the flower would point upwards (see the flower bud on the left on the pic below). Before the bud opens a rotation of 180 degrees brings the lip in a new position so that the lip points straight to the observer.

phaius tankervilleae var alba 2 by eike jauch

How to take care of Phaiocalanthe

In 1983 Jürgen Roth published his book “Orchideen”. In this book he gives some information about Phaiocalanthe I would like to share with you.

Phaiocalabthe Kryptonite by Eike Jauch

Jürgen Roth recommends the long inflorescence as cut flowers, as the flowers are quite durable. Phaiocalanthe show robust growth and are easy to be maintained in culture. Especially Veitch made special contributions to breeding of Phaiocalanthe in the last decades of the eightteenth centure.

Phaius irrorata

Therafter, little breeding was done to increase number of Phaiocalanthe hybrids. Phaiocalanthe like moderate to warm temperatures, a substrate rich in nutrients, but no direct sunlight or dry heat. The substrate should be kept moist, but excessive watering is not recommended.

Phaiocalanthe Irrorata (first known as Phaius irroratus Veich 1867, see second picture) was the first Phaiocalanthe that was presented to the world of orchid breeders. I have repeated the cross and wait for the first flowersthis winter.

 

Phaius of New Guinea

Phaius Phajus tankervilleae 2 by Eike Jauch

In Orchids of Papua New Guinea – an introduction by Andree Millar (1978) only one Phaius species is described to occur in Papua New Guinea: Phaius tankervillea (as Phaius tancarvilliae). It is decribed to be very widespread from the lowlands to about 1000 meters. It often grows in long grass and is called after this grass ‘kunai orchid’. The sepals and petals are chalk white on the back and reddish-brown on the inside. Interestingly Andree Millar also reports of a form of Phaius tankervilleae that always grows at higher altitudes and is yellow on the inside of the petals and sepals and has a yellow labellum.

This description fits to the description of the Phaius tankervilleae var. bernaysii that was found on the Philippines in N Mindanao. It is shown in Lady Tankerville’s Legacy (Fig. 103) and is also called Phaius tankervilleae fma flava.

On the other hand, P.J. Cribb, J. Stone and P.O. Byrne describe in Lady Tankerville’s Legacy a novel species called Phaius tanjiewhoei. That species also has yellow inner sepal and petal surfaces that often are flushed red-brown on the inner surface. The lip of Phaius tanjiewhoei is pure white, sometimes suffused with purple near the tip, becoming yellow with age.

Another variety of Phaius tankervillea found in New Guinea is Phaius tankervilleae var. devogelii.

Phaius montanus is a third species reported from New Guinea. The type of this species was collected at Kaiser Wilhelms Land, the first description took place 1912. It grows in semi-open places in forests on mountain ridges at altitudes between 800 and 2230 meters. Phaius montanus was recorded from at least 11 locations according to the Orchids of New Guinea Website.

Phaius amboinensis. Phaius robertsii and Phaius flavus are also reported from New Guinea.

Phaius flavus is found in montane grassland and forest at altitudes between 1860 to 2700 meters. There are at least 5 records of Phaius falvus in New Guinea according to the Orchids of New Guinea Website.

Phaius flavus by Eike Jauch

A location of Phaius robertsii on New Guinea is not specified by Stone and Cribb (2017). It grows in lowland forests in medium to deep shade at an altitude of 550 meters.

There are at least 18 records of Phaius amboinensis on New Guinea. It is found in lowland forests, often in deep shade at an altitude between 20 to 900 meters.

Vietnam: A hotspot of Phaius species

The vietnamese orchid society (Hội Hoa Lan Việt Nam) has collected data about Phaius species that can be found in Vietnam. This list is quite impressive, as this list includes 11 species and 2 additional varieties:

Phaius columnaris, found south of Yunnan, without provenence in Vietnam, although listed. From personal communication I learned that Phaius columnaris is not rare in the north of Vietnam.

Phaius flavus var. flavus and Phaius flavus var. alba. Phaius flavus (Hạc đính vàng, golden crane) was recorded from Quản Ba and Hà Giang (both Ha Giang province in the Northeast region of Vietnam), Sin Hồ and Lai Châu province (both in the Northwest region of Vietnam), Sa Thầy (Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam that borders to both Laos and Cambodia) and Lâm Đồng (Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam). Both forms can even grow at the same place (personal communication), there is no geographical seperation of the two varieties. This observation paralells observations made for Phaius tankervilleae var. australis and Phaius tankervilleae var. bernaysii that are known to share the same locations, too.

Phaius flavus by Eike Jauch

Phaius flavus fma album by Chu Xuan Canh Kopie

(Picture by Chu Xuan Canh)

Phaius indigoferus (Hạc đính chàm, indigo crane) was recorded from Tam Đảo (Vĩnh Phúc Province in the Red River Delta Region of northern Vietnam), Kon Tum and Di Linh (both Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam) and Đồng Nai (southeastern Vietnam).

Phaius indochinensis (Hạc đính đỏ, red flamingo) was recorded from Đà Lạt and Đầm Ron, both in Lâm Đồng Province (Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam).

Phaius longicornu (Hạc đính trắng, white flamingo) was recorded from Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng Province (Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam).

Phaius longicornu 2 by Chu Xuan Canh(Picture by by Chu Xuan Canh)

Phaius mishmensis (Hạc đính hồng, pink flamingo) was recorded from Tam Đảo (Vĩnh Phúc Province in the Red River Delta Region of northern Vietnam), Ninh Bình (Red River Delta Region of northern Vietnam), Lâm Đồng Province (Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam).

20180922 Phaius mishmensis

Phaius takeoi (Hạc đính) was recorded by L. Averyanov from Trà Lĩnh (Cao Bằng Province in the Northeast region of Vietnam).

Phaius tankervilleae var. tankervilleae (Hạc đính nâu, brown crane) was recorded from Tam Đảo (Vĩnh Phúc Province in the Red River Delta Region of northern Vietnam), Ninh Bình (Red River Delta Region of northern Vietnam), Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands region of Vietnam in southern Vietnam), Ninh Thuận, a province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam and Đồng Nai, a province in the Southeast region of Vietnam.

Phaius Phajus tankervilleae 2 by Eike Jauch

Phaius tankervilleae var. baolocensis was recorded from Bảo Lộc and Ban Mê Thuột, both in Central Highlands region of Vietnam

Phaius tonkinensis (Hạc đính Bắc bộ, nothern crane) was recorded from Trà Lĩnh (Cao Bằng Province, Northeast Vietnam).

Phaius tonkinensis by Eike Jauch 1

Phaius wallichii was recorded from Sơn La (north-west region of Vietnam), Lai Châu Province (north-west region of Vietnam), Bắc Cạn (province in the north-east region of Vietnam).

Phaius wallichii 'Jacky' by Eike Jauch

Phaius wenshanensis was recorded from Na Hằng, Tuyên Quang Province, north-east region of Vietnam

Phaius wenshanensis by Chu Xuan Canh(Picture by by Chu Xuan Canh)

 

 

Phaius and Calanthe of Sikkim-Himalaya

The Orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya by Naresh Swami is a rich source of pictures documentating the occurance of certain orchid species in Sikkim-Himalaya. Sikkim borders Tibet in the North, Bhutan in the East, Nepal in the West and West Bengal in the South. Sikkim is part of the Eastern Himalaya and includes alpine and subtropical climates. Beside the Calanthe and Phaius species listed below, orchids like Dendrobium nobile, Epipactis helleborine, Coelogyne cristata, Goodyera schlechtendaliana, Goodyera repens, Anoectochilus roxburghii and Thunia alba can be found in Sikkim.

Only two Phaius species were recorded so far by Naresh Swami:

Phaius flavus and Phaius mishmensis.

Phaius flavus by Eike Jauch

Phaius maculatus

20180922 Phaius mishmensis

Phaius mishmensis

Note added 22.04.2020:

The orchids of the Sikkim Himalaya

In the original work “The orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya, Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, 1898, v. 8, pt. 1-4” following Phaius are listed:

Phaius nanus (as Phajus nanus)

Phaius nanus

Phaius wallichii (as Phajus wallichii)

Phaius wallichii 'Jacky' by Eike Jauch

Phaius wallichii

Phaius tankervilleae (as Phajus wallichii var. assamica / Phaius blumei var pulchra)

Phaius Phajus tankervilleae 2 by Eike Jauch

Phaius tankervilleae

For me it was especially interesting to learn which Calanthe species were recorded from Sikkim-Himalaya. Here is a list of 11 species recorded by by Naresh Swami, that still might be incomplete according to the original publication:

Calanthe masuca

Calanthe masuca by Eike Jauch

Calanthe masuca

Calanthe herbacea

https://ia800501.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?id=mobot31753002133228&itemPath=%2F13%2Fitems%2Fmobot31753002133228&server=ia800501.us.archive.org&page=n107_w425

Calanthe brevicornu

Calanthe brevicornu

Calanthe alpina

https://ia800501.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?id=mobot31753002133228&itemPath=%2F13%2Fitems%2Fmobot31753002133228&server=ia800501.us.archive.org&page=n103_w431

Calanthe biloba

https://ia800501.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?id=mobot31753002133228&itemPath=%2F13%2Fitems%2Fmobot31753002133228&server=ia800501.us.archive.org&page=n102_w431

Calanthe yuksomnensis (not mentioned in “The orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya”)

Calanthe puberula

Calanthe puberula

Calanthe trulliformis

Calanthe trulliformis

Calanthe griffithii (not mentioned in “The orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya”)

Calanthe mannii

Calanthe mannii

Calanthe tricarinata

Calanthe tricarinata by Eike Jauch

Calanthe tricarinata

Note added 22.04.2020:

These additional Calanthe species were pubished in Orchids of Sikkim-Himalaya:

Calanthe gracilis

Calanthe gracilis

Calanthe alismaefolia

Calanthe alismaefolia Kopie

Calanthe angusta

Calanthe angusto

Calanthe chloroleuca

Calanthe chlioroleuca

Calanthe whiteana

Calanthe whiteana

Calanthe densiflora

Calanthe densiflora

 

Orchideen Zauber: An article about Phaius tankervilleae and Phaius wallichii

In the recent issue 3/2020 of OrchideenZauber, a german orchid journal, Dr. Jürgen Schmidt kindly published our article about Phaius tankervilleae and Phaius wallichii. OrchideenZauber is a magazine with a focus on orchids. The content is mainly about the culture of tropical plants, including non-orchids, such as bromeliads, but occasionally also native or carnivorous plants. Care and culture of orchids, but also of other fascinating plants with comparable claims, appeal to every nature lover. Whether common or rare orchids, whether airplants or the unusal carnivorous pitcher plants – such topics are presented in content and impressive photos. Interested in reading OrchideenZauber? Contact the editor kontakt@orchideenzauber.eu

I have linked my homepage to the homepage of OrchideenZauber. Please check the Links Page at the top.

Phaius Artikel S1Phaius Artikel S2Phaius Artikel S3Phaius Artikel S4Phaius Artikel S5Phaius Artikel S6Phaius Artikel S7Phaius Artikel S8

Seedlings of Phaius flavus forma album

Phaius flavus fma album seedlings by Eike Jauch

For me it is the queen of all Phaius: Phaius flavus forma album. I was lucky to get some seedlings of this amazing colour form of Phaius flavus, these are shown in above picture. Already the very young seedlings show the spotted leave pattern which contributes to the beauty of this plant. Attractive even when not flowering! Just have a look at the flowering plant below. This great picture was taken by Chu Xuan Canh, and he allowed me to show the picture to you. Thanks! Phaius flavus forma album is reported to occur in Vietnam and East Java. Should it therefore be treated as a variety?

Phaius flavus fma album by Chu Xuan Canh Kopie