Paphiopedilum Golddollar

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Paphiopedilum Golddollar (P. primulinum x P. armeniacum).  I bought this plant in 1996.

Paphiopedilum Golddollar is a primary hybrid of P. armeniacum, a Chinese species that is notoriously difficult to bloom, and P. primulinum, an easy sequential blooming species from Sumatra.  This cross, registered in 1988, was an inspired piece of orchid breeding.  P. armeniacum, with is bright yellow flowers and large balloon-like pouch is one of the most beautiful members of the genus, but it requires a cold, dry dormancy in winter.  In cultivation, it frequently goes for many years without flowering, if it doesn’t just drop dead.  P. primulinum, on the other hand, is easy to grow under intermediate/warm conditions (e.g. a windowsill in a centrally heated house), blooms reliably, and produces many flowers over a very long period.  However, the flowers are fairly small and at best are cute, rather than beautiful.

P. Golddollar has inherited yellow flowers from both parents, but the big, bulbous pouch with in-rolled edges comes straight from P. armeniacum. Genes from P. primulinum have narrowed the petals, but in exchange have made the plant sequential blooming.

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A second bud will open around the time that the first flower drops, and there will probably be several more flowers before the plant is finished blooming for the year.

The foliage of P. Golddollar has attractive tessellation inherited from P. armeniacum, but the hybrid has lost the habit of producing new growths at the end of long stolens which often makes P. armeniacum difficult to manage in a pot.  The growths of P. Golddollar are tightly clustered like those of P. primulinum.

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The mix of genes has made P. Golddollar very temperature tolerant, and my plant has grown equally well on a windowsill in Michigan and a greenhouse in North Carolina.  Best of all, P. Golddollar is easy to flower.  I bought my plant from the now defunct JEM Orchids in 1996, and despite being divided many times, it has flowered every year since then.

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