C.froschii - description and photo

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Abgeschickt von Michael Weinert am 10 Mai, 2000 um 08:49:02

Dear fellow Cypripedium enthusiasts,

Darcy asked me for some information about C.froschii. Here it is. Below the photo you will find a part of the original description in "Die Orchidee" 1999, Supplement No.6, p. 7-11. You will see that C.froschii is regarded as a species, not as a hybrid (reasons are given in the text).

"... Species definition wilhin the close relationship of Cyp. macranthos is often based on a very slightly balanced combination of a few morphological characters in conjunction with distribution data. lf the plant is rather stout, slightly pubescent to glabrous on the ovary, has long and wide petals, a non-corrugated lip and is not distributed in Southwest China, i.e. it occurs from eastern-most Europe to Japan, but not south of the Yangtze-River in China, it is Cyp. macranthos. lf the plant has slightly wider petals, usually a corrugated lip and is distributed in Southwest China, it is Cyp. tibeticum. lf the same applies to another plant, except the petals are narrower and distinctly acuminate, and additionally the flower is deep plum coloured, it is Cyp. smithii from the northern part of Southwest China. lf the plant shares its characters and distribution with Cyp. tibeticum, but has slightly narrower petals and a densely pubescent stem and ovary, it is Cyp. franchetii. Plants from Yunnan and southern Sichuan with comparatively narrow leaves and distinctly small flowers in relation to the stem, are Cyp.yunnanense.

Since about ten years plants from Yunnan appeared in cultivation, which didn't fit in this scheme. Morphologically they best fit Cyp. tibeticum, but the petals are much longer, they are in fact the longest in the entire subsection, although specimens with a less extreme petals length are known. But even if the petals are less elongated, they always show a more ore less distinct twisting in the apical part. Another constant character of these plants is the pale pinkish colour of the corrugaled lip, contrasting markedly with sinister red-brown of the enfolded margins of the lip orifice and the staminode. Typical is also the contrasting fine dark speckling at the base of the petals. By these characters the plants are easily identified within any collection of Southwest Chinese Cyp. tibeticum relatives, and it is even more simple to tell these plants apart than some of the forms of Cyp. smithii, franchetii or tibeticum from each other.

In nature the new taxon was found in Yunnan, in the vicinity of Lijiang. It grew at a restricted locality in a glacier valley together with Cyp. tibeticum and Cyp. yunnanense in an altitude of 3200 m. Because of the combination of characters in the plant it can be excluded that the new taxon might be the natural hybrid between Cyp. tibeticum and Cyp. yunnanense. The latter has a distinctly small flower with slightly bending to straight petals, and both supposed parents have a strong to dark colouration. That a hybrid might derive from these parents that has twisted and longer petals than any of the parents and a pale colouration with contrasting orifice is highly unlikely. lf it is a hybrid with tibeticum, than the other parent cannot be Cyp. yunnanense, but hasn't been found yet. Therefore I consider the plant as a new species..." (written by Holger Perner)