365 days of orchids – day 6 – Paphiopedilum tonsum


One of our favourite and most reliable Paphs is this species from Borneo. We grow the species warm (Min 16C) and in low light with some shading throughout the year and extra in the summer months.

There is strong field evidence of pollination of similar species by wasps and if you look closely there is a small green/yellow lump in the centre of the staminode in the centre of the flower and it is thought that this is an aphid mimic to attract the wasps that feed on aphids. The wasp would then slip into the pouch and be forced to climb the ladder of hairs at the back of the pouch, first depositing and pollen on the stigmatic surface before finding fresh pollen attached as it emerges from one of two openings at the back of the staminode.


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