Friday, May 16, 2014

The thing about "Phalaenopsis tetraspis C1"

Phalaenopsis speciosa
Do a search for Phalaenopsis tetraspis C1 and you will get tonnes of images of arguably one of the most beautiful Phalaenopsis species... or is it Phalaenopsis speciosa... or P. speciosa var. Christiana, P. speciosa subvar. Christiana, P. speciosa var. tetraspis, P. speciosa var. imperatrix, P. speciosa var. maculata, Phalaenopsis barrtii, or Phalaenopis sumatrana var. alba? There seems to be as much confusion and argument about the validity of P. tetraspis C1 as there are images on the internet. This species has even been awarded by the American Orchid Society as P. tetraspis C1. The RHS International Orchid Registry only lists the two valid species Phalaenopsis speciosa and Phalaenopsis tetraspis. The Kew Monocot Checklist also provides validity for both of these species but lists the most significant puzzle piece (P. speciosa var. Christiana) as a synonym of P. speciosa. Therefore, the correct name for P. tetraspis C1, also listed as a synonym for P. speciosa var. Christiana by other resources should simply be Phalaenopsis speciosa.
Mine flowered recently for the first time. I am intrigued by the colouration of the flower. This is definitely a species worth having in any collection.

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