Many interesting color and pattern combinations are the result of extensive hybridizing of the popular phalaenopsis.
Paleanopsis orchids are the most frequently commercially sold orchids, resulting in a large selection of phalaenopsis varieties and hybrids. The biggest phalaenopsis varieties get up to 3 feet tall and need staking to prevent breakage, while other more compact varieties with smaller flowers are ideal for house plants. Traditionally, phalaenopsis bloom in various shades of pink and white, but hybridizing has led not only to greater color variety, but interesting petal patterns. Does this Spark an idea?
This species is often found in the parent lineage of many phalaenopsis hybrids. P. amabilis blooms several bright white flowers that are up to 4 inches in diameter along a long, branching spike. In nature, this phalaenopsis species is found throughout a wide geological area.
This commonly pale rose orchid is compact with a profusion of 1 inch blooms along a zig-zagged spike. It’s found throughout the Philippines and Taiwan. This phalaenopsis is used to create miniature hybrid orchids that grow in tiny pots.
This species is native to Malaysia and Borneo and blooms only a few 3-inch flowers in the summer. The Malaysian-based phalaenopsis has star-shaped petals that are mainly different hues of pink, while the Borneo variety has typical flowers with deep purple centers. This deep purple color makes it a more popular variety than the former. This species requires more shade.
Phalaenopsis Sweet Memory
This hybrid uses the P.violacea as a parent, which dominates the texture, lip and shape of this phalaenopsis hybrid. The petals are multicolored with a light base and darker overtones ranging in color. The lips are deep red and the petals have a broad shape. Tall, long spikes produce several 3-inch flowers that peak in the summer.
Palaenopsis Golden Bells
This hybrid introduces a color not seen in the natural phalaenopsis world — yellow. A pale yellow base is patterned with a dark yellow dotting. It has a russet-colored middle with a white lip. Flower size is slightly smaller at 2 1/2 inches wide and the 10-inch long flower spike remains upright without staking.
Phalaenopsis Paifang’s Golden Lion
This orchid hybrid is among the more interesting phalaenopsis, thanks to its petal pattern and color. Dense, darker colored spotting appears on a lighter colored base, and the closer you get to the center of the orchid, the denser the spotting gets. The waxy flowers are produced in perfect symmetry. Flowers bloom in succession and as one flower fades away, another bud is preparing to blossom.
Petal decoration gets even more interesting with this California-bred orchid hybrid. Darker candy-colored striping is painted onto the light-colored base of the symmetrical-shaped petals. The lip is richly colored and the long branching spike produces blooms that span the entire surface, opening from the bottom to the top within a week.