CHALLENGE-to-Phragmipedium-longifolium-var-longifolium-(Album)-2022-09-23***SITF confirmed as Phragmipedium longifolium var. longifolium (Sep 2022);
This plant matches the album form of P. longifolium var. longifolium; the challenge was issued based on undulations of the petal margins; however nearly all P. longifoliums have undulations of the petal margins to varying extents and, therefore, are not contraindicative of this plant being the correct species;  one of the photos of this plant show auricles raised above the pouch tissue which is a characteristic of the species; this plant closely matches the P. longifolium f. album in Guido Braem's book, "The Genus Phragmipedium".***

Judging Center: Louisiana

Award Number: 20226571

Award Date: July 23, 2022

Awarded As: CHALLENGE to Phragmipedium longifolium var. longifolium (Album)

This award was posted in July on Facebook right after being awarded. I immediately received a challenge to it, as not a species and most likely Phrag. Praying Mantis based on the crisping (undulation) on the petals likely from boissierianum.

I asked the exhibitor for additional information and photos, this is what I received back...

Phragmipediums are my specialty, and I speak on them frequently and have been growing and studying them for over 15 years. But I also strive for correctness, and I appreciate the SITF looking over the awards. I personally am meticulous for accuracy. The plant is no longer in bloom, but I have attached some additional pictures. I purchased my plant from Tom Kalina, a fellow AOS judge and Phragmipedium expert, as a selfing of his 'Fox Valley Mint' clone that he purchased from Ecuagenera. As I understand it, only one longifolium f. album has ever been found, and it was by Ecuagenera. Tom was the person who imported this forma into the US from them and selfed it. I'm sure he could send you many pictures of others just like it. I let him know I got one of his seedlings awarded and sent him the award picture in which he said all that have been blooming out look very similar. One thing I was very disappointed with is the photographer took a low angle picture of it looking up the pouch, versus straight on like it should have been for a better picture.

Nearly every longifolium awarded has undulation on its petals, some more than others, so mine is certainly in the range. So that one feature cannot be the sole reason for saying it's not a longifolium, as Phrag. longifolium var. longifolium 'Bronze Elf' AM on Oct.2013 has just as much undulations as mine, or even more! But because mine is an album and has some undulations, it's easy just to "say" that it must have another green species in it such as boissierianum. To date, there are two awards to an album longifolium, 'Zephyrs Mint' HCC on Oct. 2019 and 'Emerald Magic' CHM on August 2012, and they both have undulated petals, at least on the proximal half, as I'm sure they are all from the same batch of the selfing of Tom Kalina's plant. I have several longifoliums and they all have varying degrees of undulation on the petals. Also see awarded longifoliums 'Lexie River', 'River Valley', and 'Summit Honey' just to name a few. My longifolium has a perfect longifolium pouch with the distinct protuberances/horns indicative of longifolium, long slender pouch, along with the green spots that simulate aphids. The margins also smoothe out on the distal half of the petals. I looked at pictures of the awarded Praying Mantis, and none are solid album. They are all made with a typical longifolium x boissierianum, probably since longifolium f. album is not readily available nor common. I have never seen an album Praying Mantis for sale. The undulations also seem to be tighter on Praying Mantis, but again that varies. Since undulated petals are seen on most of the awarded longifoliums, I don't see how that can be used to say it's not a longifolium. Also, on my longifolium, the edges of the dorsal sepal and synsepal are mostly smoothe, and very lightly wavy, just like a true longifolium. Praying Mantis has a heavily undulated dorsal sepal and synsepal. That is a noticable, glaring difference to me.

The award description reads as follows:

One flower and one bud on one 14.4 cm inflorescence; base color apple green; dorsal sepal declinate, lanceolate, synsepal elliptical, veined darker green, margins white proximally; petals ruffled, slightly twisted and linear, veined darker green, proximal half margins white; pouch saccate, two auricles, lightly veined darker green; staminode triangular, superior ciliated; substance firm; texture waxy.

Inflorescence > Overall Length: 14.4

Flower Natural Spread Length: 5.4

Flower Natural Spread Width: 13.7

Flower > Dorsal Sepal Length: 5.4

Flower > Dorsal Sepal Width: 1.0

Flower > Lateral sepals or synsepal Length: 3.9

Flower > Lateral sepals or synsepal Width: 2.9

Flower > Petals Length: 9.3

Flower > Petals Width: 0.6

Flower > Lip or Pouch Length: 4.2

Flower > Lip or Pouch Width: 1.9

Flower > Lip or Pouch> characters of lip (calli, spurs, keels, etc.): auricles present

Flower > Column Color: green triangular


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