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  • 5 Post By orchidlady
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Question on Paphiopedilum cloning

This is a discussion on Question on Paphiopedilum cloning within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I am not a paph collector but I do have 2. I see a lot ...

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  1. #1
    glenyorl1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Question on Paphiopedilum cloning

    I am not a paph collector but I do have 2. I see a lot of named varieties but it is to my understanding paphiopedilums cannot be cloned?! Does the varietal name come from the crossing of the species? For example Paphiopedilum Berenice a cross between lowii and philippenense. Do all of its offspring carry the name Berenice?


    To my understanding a cross is named. If it is recognized as an exceptional cross it becomes mericloned and thousands are reproduced. Since paphs cannot be cloned (please correct me if I am wrong) which is the REAL one?

    Sorry if this is a dumb question but I am very analytical. I am only using this as an example but if there are 4 Paphiopedilum Berenice at $100 each and I choose 1. Which is the real one?

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    All hybrid crosses between lowii and philippenense would be called Paph. Bernice. That is the registered name of the cross regardless of the particular parents used to make the cross. When the seeds are germinated there are potentially thousands of Bernice that can result. They are all real. To distinguish an individual plant you would give it a cultivar name. As an example you might see Paph. Bernice 'Big Pouch'. The 'Big Pouch' name is for the individual plant. This naming format is used for all species and hybrids to distinguish a particular plant.

    You are generally correct that Paphs have not really been cloned successfully commercially.

    Susan

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    Thanks for the advice because I have seen differences in Paph Bernice. Since they have not been successfully cloned commercially is it a safe guess to assume that 'Big Pouch' is a one-off?

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    Divisions of awarded plants are generally more expensive than clones. Being that slippers aren't often cloned, any slipper with a "clonal name" is probably either an expensive division or a fraud. IMHO
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    PaphMadMan is online now Senior Member
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    There is a chance for some confusion when using the word "clone". While slippers can't in general (so far) be mass mericloned as can many other orchids, you also make a clone of a plant every time you divide it. So it is rare for any awarded clone to be a "one-off" assuming it lives long enough to be divided, and every division can be divided again every couple years. The first few divisions will usually be very expensive to buy. But some older named cultivars, such as Paph Maudiae 'The Queen' have been around for so long and are vigorous and desirable enough that thousands of legitimate divisions do exist, so they may not be all that expensive. Fraud also exists though. Other divisions or seedlings can be sold as 'The Queen', and at least one selfing of another famous Maudiae clone where the seedlings were sold with the clonal name as if they were divisions is well known.

    At least one case exists where a single germinated Paph seed in flask was cloned to produce dozens of identical seedlings, and this possbily happens to some extent naturally, but since protocorms can't be awarded this was not an awarded plant. This approach rarely makes sense to pursue since you could end up cloning one ugly weak-growing undesirable plant rather than having dozens or hundreds of variable natural seedlings to choose from.

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    glenyorl1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    There is a chance for some confusion when using the word "clone". While slippers can't in general (so far) be mass mericloned as can many other orchids, you also make a clone of a plant every time you divide it. So it is rare for any awarded clone to be a "one-off" assuming it lives long enough to be divided, and every division can be divided again every couple years. The first few divisions will usually be very expensive to buy. But some older named cultivars, such as Paph Maudiae 'The Queen' have been around for so long and are vigorous and desirable enough that thousands of legitimate divisions do exist, so they may not be all that expensive. Fraud also exists though. Other divisions or seedlings can be sold as 'The Queen', and at least one selfing of another famous Maudiae clone where the seedlings were sold with the clonal name as if they were divisions is well known.

    At least one case exists where a single germinated Paph seed in flask was cloned to produce dozens of identical seedlings, and this possbily happens to some extent naturally, but since protocorms can't be awarded this was not an awarded plant. This approach rarely makes sense to pursue since you could end up cloning one ugly weak-growing undesirable plant rather than having dozens or hundreds of variable natural seedlings to choose from.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Personally, I think we can be doing the orchid community a world of good if we use our terminology more succinctly.

    A "clone", by definition, is a genetically identical reproduction of another entity. However, that leads to confusion - as was well-stated above - because most orchidists perceive "clone" to indicate "replicated via undifferentialed meristematic tissue", even though divisions and keikies are also "clones" of the mother plant.

    I think that the original question becomes easier to grasp if we use more common (in the horticulture world at large) terms. For example, Paph. Berenice is the name of a "grex" (group or population), made by hybridizing the two species lowii and philippinense. Any plant produced by crossing those two species is of the same grex, or as we more commonly say, is the same hybrid population.

    Paph Maudiae is also the name of a grex, and 'The Queen' is the cultivar name or epithet applied to a specific one.

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    Good topic and one that I have been trying to get a better grasp on. I must admit that I understand the terms clone, clonal name, genus, species; but the term "grex" still confuses me a bit. Is the term grex synonymous with sibling or division?

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    Thank you for the information everyone. I was loosely referring to the mass production of a cultivar. Since they cannot be mass produced via meristem tissue culture. What accounts for the large number of cultivars I see available? I think one of the members answered this well, they are either frauds or non awarded cultivars. Of course a division is also a clone but vegetative reproduction does not yield hundreds of identical siblings
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisa View Post
    Good topic and one that I have been trying to get a better grasp on. I must admit that I understand the terms clone, clonal name, genus, species; but the term "grex" still confuses me a bit. Is the term grex synonymous with sibling or division?
    Don't get hung-up on that.

    Technically, the term "grex" refers to a population, making it a fairly broad term. If you cross Paph lowii x Paph lowii, all of the offspring are considered to be a grex of the species, Paph lowii. If you cross Paph lowii x Paph philippinense, all of the offspring constitute the hybrid grex, and that allows us to assign that population a name - in this case, each member of the grex is Paph Berenice.

    If I see an unknown plant and ask "what's the species?", the answer could be "It's not a species" if it's a hybrid. Likewise, "what's the hybrid" would be invalid if it's a species, but if you ask "What grex is that?", you'll be correct either way!

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