Paphiopedilum sanderianum is often considered the ‘Queen of Paphs’ (rothschildianum is the King). It is very well known for its tremendous petals that can be close to a yard long! They are a highly sought after species that has a reputation for slow growth. These plants are a few years from blooming, but at this size they start to grow much faster. We prefer not to list smaller Paphiopedilum sanderianum for sale as they will not set you up for success.
This species is native to Borneo, where it grows hanging off cliffs. The Internet Orchid Species Encyclopedia has some good photos of the Paphiopedilum sanderianum habitat. The long petals are designed to attract pollinators. They are pollinated by flies, not ants as was originally thought. The plants like warm temperatures and like a bit more water than most other multiflorals. Petal length is genetic and depends on the parents, but keeping the humidity high as the flowers develop will help your plant reach its maximum ‘petal potential’.
Other than their requirement for a bit more water, these can be grown like most other multifloral Paphiopedilum. Check out our care page for helpful information on how to grow your plants.