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Paph Mericlones!!! Yes!!!

This is a discussion on Paph Mericlones!!! Yes!!! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Here is a prime example of how plants can be mis-represented online or elsewhere. Keep ...

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  1. #1
    Slipperhead's Avatar
    Slipperhead is offline Senior Member
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    Default Paph Mericlones!!! Yes!!!

    Here is a prime example of how plants can be mis-represented online or elsewhere. Keep in mind I don't know the intent, if there is any, of this misrepresentation. Anyway, here's the story...

    Earlier today I saw a NBS paph hybrid seedling advertised online described as "The blooms will be identical to the picture." This piqued my interest as the photo was of a decent looking primary paph hybrid. I was assuming this had to be a division.

    Well, I sent the following question and received the following answer:

    Me: What is the leaf span of this plant? How can you guarantee the bloom will be identical to the one pictured?

    Grower: The leaf span is 8 inches. The plant offered is a clone therefore the blooms will be identical.

    Anyone out there cloning paphs yet? If so, I'd like compotted copies of some of your primo plants!!!

    (For the new folks on this forum, as far as I know, we aren't yet able to clone paphs and phrags. This helps keep the paph and phrag prices higher then the other orchids that are mericloned by the millions and dumped on the market all at once!)

    Good Growing!


  2. #2
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    This is like the classic ebay "vinicolor" scam. Post a picture of a nice vini, sell a plant that has *zero* red in its leaf base, and someone who doesn't know better will buy it. Sometimes you even have a real bidding war for these coloratums, depending on how nice that vinicolor picture is (which is frequently stolen from someone's website anyway).

    With regards to paph/phrag cloning, I understand that it can be done now...but with a twist. Plants in the protocorm stage can apparently be cloned ad nauseum...with the resulting plants being genetically identical to each other. The flip side is that these obviously have never bloomed, so one could have ended up cloning a nice cultivar, an awardable one, or a real dog. Orchids Ltd. if I recall had some phrag clones from a "desirable cross" for sale...with this caveat advertised. Only a matter of time before it can be done with mature plants, in my opinion.

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    Gee, imagine the day when awarded and hard-to-find paph and phrag cultivars are cloned by the millions in Taiwan.....Thankfully, paph and phrags don't have the sex-appeal that the phals and oncids do with the general public. I hope it doesn't happen for a long time!!!

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    Tell me about it - I was thinking on this this morning. What will it be like if the day comes when something I consider rare and unusual is available at every Trader Joes around? YIKES! I'd much rather the slippers I grow stay rare and unusual. Sigh...

  5. #5
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    Personally, I am awaiting the day where I can get some of the finest new paph clones for affordable prices, or even some of the hard-to-find classics, again for affordable prices. I don't doubt that some of the appeal of the slippers lies in the rarity (which is partly due to the inability to clone them). I am sure that is why some of the real wackos, especially the rich wackos, are so interested in the slipper genera. It seems that certain individuals have more interest in the monetary value of their collections, and the sense of elitism that accompanies that, than in the actual plants themselves.

    I personally have no interest in that mindset and will not shed a tear if all those aforementioned wackos jump ship and start to grow the rare variegated variants of oxalis. I just like to grow paphs, and I'd much rather fork over fifty or a hundred bucks for a fine FCC rothschildianum than 25,000.

    Just my 0.02.

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    Heather is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmoney
    Personally, I am awaiting the day where I can get some of the finest new paph clones for affordable prices, or even some of the hard-to-find classics, again for affordable prices. I don't doubt that some of the appeal of the slippers lies in the rarity (which is partly due to the inability to clone them). I am sure that is why some of the real wackos, especially the rich wackos, are so interested in the slipper genera. It seems that certain individuals have more interest in the monetary value of their collections, and the sense of elitism that accompanies that, than in the actual plants themselves.

    I personally have no interest in that mindset and will not shed a tear if all those aforementioned wackos jump ship and start to grow the rare variegated variants of oxalis. I just like to grow paphs, and I'd much rather fork over fifty or a hundred bucks for a fine FCC rothschildianum than 25,000.

    Just my 0.02.
    I totally understand where you're coming from, but for me, it is more of the fact that I am frustrated by seeing one one side, over-priced, over-hybridized phals w/ no clue to their genetics in fancy farmstands, and on the other, very low priced plants which are rarely taken care of at the store and frequently thrown in the dumpster. I guess I am happy that maybe more slippers are saved from this than other genera? That said, I also am happy to be able to spend under $100 for a special plant.

    Personally, I value my plants because I find them rare and unbelievable and I marvel at the fact that I seem to be able to keep them alive (so far) and am amazed by the shear wonder of their beauty and what nature is capable of. I don't care how much they might be WORTH monetarily, I care how much their beauty and lives are special to me. I could put no dollar figure on how much pleasure they provide me.

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    The day when we can buy a BS or blooming roth or sander for $50 - $100 may not be that far away! I believe a PB roth (rex x Mt. Milias) just sold on Ebay today for just less than $100.

    With all the roth and sander flasks being sold over the last few years, I'm expecting quality, BS plants to become readily available and cheaper as the market becomes saturated!

    It seems a new, hot cross goes for serious cash for a few years then gets cheaper as something hotter takes its place. Pretty soon the plants are commonplace and very reasonably priced i.e. Magic Lantern, Sorcerer's App, etc.

    What do you think, Louis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperhead
    Pretty soon the plants are commonplace and very reasonably priced i.e. Magic Lantern, Sorcerer's App, etc.

    Or, overpriced at frou-frou shops in Berkeley - where I saw a Sorc. App x besseae for $55 today (Plant only of course, nice decorative planter, another $25. Phals were about the same price. The Cattletonias, only $20, which surprised me as we see very few of these back home. I find it interesting to see another market working...)

    *that's* what gets to me, but I'm just a snob, I know...I know...

  9. #9
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperhead
    The day when we can buy a BS or blooming roth or sander for $50 - $100 may not be that far away! I believe a PB roth (rex x Mt. Milias) just sold on Ebay today for just less than $100.

    With all the roth and sander flasks being sold over the last few years, I'm expecting quality, BS plants to become readily available and cheaper as the market becomes saturated!
    I agree that the prices for roths have come down dramatically over the last 5-10 years, with perhaps the exception of that Rex x MM outcross, mature *unbloomed* plants of which still sell for 200-500 in most places. I saw the ebay plant--it was previously-bloomed (and likely not award-quality) and ratty. I also agree that the recent presumably-legitimate sanderianum sib crosses are starting to flood the market, which is why to date I have not purchased one yet.

    In my previous post, I was referring to the ability to get a 50-100 dollar CLONE of an FCC rothschildianum, not merely a sib cross. Something like this cultivar, which was awarded at this year's NY orchid show:
    rothschildianum 'Perfection' FCC/AOS
    Very few people today have an FCC-caliber roths in their paph collection (the FCCs of the Charles E x Borneo cross have long since been outdated, and in any case they are uncommon in collections anyway). I still look forward to the day that I can purchase a true FCC roths without paying exorbitant prices--not for the stupid title but for their spectacular flowers unparalleled in the genus. A random plant from that Rex x MM cross is undoubtedly nice, but the best of that outcross are simply 'jaw-dropping' stunning.

    Will cloning result in some poor-quality mass market plants? Perhaps, although I think it would probably be cheaper for the retailer to get seed-grown Maudiae-types like you are starting to see now. If the public does not have the interest to maintain that market, it will not persist. But if I can find a healthy $25 Maudiae 'The Queen' at boxstore, hell, I'll get another one. And if cloning should somehow increase the popularity of paphs, I'm all for it.

    There was an outcry when they first cloned cattleyas. Certain people were concerned that there would no longer be a market for hybridized seedlings (coincidentally enough, I think they were the hybridizers). I think of catt cloning as one of the 5 finest things since sliced bread, since I can grow some very nice cattleya clones without breaking the bank. Catts, their growers, their hybridizers, their market have all survived mericloning. I expect the same for paphs.

  10. #10
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    Default clone

    In defense of the unknown it is possible that this grower is offering a division and calls it a clone. A clone is a term used loosly as a peice of another plant and therefor identical. We too often associate the term clone with 'mericlone' which is what everyone here assumed. Many growers, I find often that it is 'old school' growers, call divisions "clones".

    Travis

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