Pouch Orchid Species Paphiopedilum Tonsum


The species paphiopedilum occurs naturally between the topsoil as terrestrial at the forest floor, while some of these are true epiphytes and some are lithophytes. This sympodial orchid lacks pseudobulbs. Instead, they grow vigorous shoots, each with a few leaves some hemicryptophytes.

The leaves can be short and round or long and narrow and usually have a punctate pattern. When the older shoots die, the newer shoots take over. Each new shoot only blooms once when fully grown, producing a blend of fleshy and fresh leaves. The roots are thick and fleshy. Potted plants form dense clumps of roots, which, if not broken down, can be up to 1 m long.


Members of this genus are considered highly collectable by orchid keepers because of their strange and strange flower shapes. Together with Cypripedium, Mexipedium, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium, this genus is a member of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as “lady’s-slippers” or “slipper orchids” due to the unusual shape of the pouch-like flower labellum.

The pouch traps insects looking for nectar, and in order to go again they must climb past the staminode, behind which they collect or store pollinia. Orchids of this genus are notoriously difficult to propagate by tissue culture as of 2016, commercial cultivation is almost exclusively seed-based. That is, each plant is unique.