Paphiopedilum hirsutissumum var. esquirolii is a striking species from Vietnam and Southern China. The flowers have a very unique shape and are covered with fine hairs. This species is very slow growing until the plants get to blooming size. Once they are up to size they grow very well and are fairly easy to bloom.
Here we have a cross between the type form and the green and white album form. These will all bloom out type, but a sibling or selfing of these will yield 25% album. The album form of the species is less vigorous than the type. Crossing back to the type then making the sibling cross usually produces much more vigorous albums. Another benefit is that the type x album plants often have more intense color than the regular type. This may be more anecdotal than empirical but interesting!
This species doesn’t need too much light and is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They come from fairly high elevation where the winter temperatures can go as low as 40 F. It is best to keep them on the dry side when it is cold. Giving them a cool, dry rest in winter will help initiate spiking on the spring.
A winter cool down isn’t required to grow these successfully. We grow them with our complex Paphiopedilum hybrids. Winter temperatures drop into the high 50’s during our coldest nights. We have tips on how to grow your Paphs on our care page.