The Paph. hirsutissimum Complex
Although these women's shoes are among the most beautiful of their kind, they are relatively rarely shown. The long-term culture is not easy either - obviously these plants also need regular calcium supplements.
A reliable distinction between the different species or varieties is not easy. A reliable determination can almost only be made via the origin of the plants. In addition, Paph. esquirolei have short hairs on the flower, the ovary and also the stem. With the help of different pictures I try to show the possible differences.
Origin: NE India (Assam/Sikkim) in the border area to North Myanmar (Nagaland and Manipur region) and then also in North Myanmar
Discovery: Introduced in 1855 by MOORE and in 1857 to England and Belgium; In 1892 STEIN transferred these plants to the genus Paphiopedilum
Paph. hirsutissimum var esquirolei (Synonym: Paph. esquirolei)
Origin: SW China (Yunnan + Guizhou, N Thailand and N Vietnam
Discovery: in 1912 by the missionary J.H. ESQUIROL
Paph. hirsutissimum var. chiwuanum (Synonym: Paph. chiwuanum)
Origin: S China and N Vietnam
Discovery: in 1951 by TANG & WANG as small-flowered and small-sized plants
→ after several years of cultivation, the plants and flowers often become larger and can hardly be separated from Paph. esquirolei can be distinguished
Here are different comparison pictures of the individual species:
and more pictures of other plants from 2015:
On these pictures you can see the longer hair of Paph. hirsutissimum opposite Paph. esquirolei recognize and the infructescence of Paph. hirsutissimum is rather reddish.
Here is a comparison from 2023 by Paph. hirsutissimum with a Paph. chiwuanum:
In 1999 a crossing of Paph. Bidborough with Paph. hirsutissimum or Paph. esquirolei performed. The plants were identified as Paph. Hans Strahl registered. Some plants from this cross saw the Paph. esquirolei very similar and were subsequently named Paph. esquirolei "Big" or "Selected" offered.
For size comparison of Paph. esquirolei and Paph. esquirolei "big":
and here again Paph. Hans Strahl:
More pictures you can find here: