Genus: Papilisia:
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Papilisia taiwaniana (Papilionanthe teres x Luisia megasepala) is now rightly recognised as a natural hybrid, after holding species rank for nearly 30 years as Papilionanthe [Vanda] taiwaniana S. S. Ying (1989).

This identity was questioned momentarily by Julian Shaw, the Senior Registrar of Orchid Hybrids. In the Orchid Review Supplement of 2004, he was the first to suggest Papilisia taiwaniana was a natural hybrid of the Taiwan-native Luisia megasepala, but the proposed name was rejected as a synonym.

The latest scientific research has, however, vindicated Shaw. On 16 August 2018 Dr Gillian Khew, Deputy Director (Molecular Biology and Micropropagation) at Singapore Botanic Gardens, disclosed her findings from sequencing the DNA of Papilionanthe taiwaniana. From chloroplast sequences that are reliable, she was able to determine the following:
1) Papilionanthe taiwaniana is not a species but a hybrid; and,
2) Papilionanthe teres is its seed parent.

The circumstances of the hybrid’s discovery supply the identity of its pollen parent. Papilisia taiwaniana had been discovered amid a population of Luisia megasepala in broad-leafed forest at 200-600 metres’ elevation, near the Sidan River that runs through the Hengchun Peninsula of Pingtung, southern Taiwan. As quickly as it emerged, it has all but vanished from the wild. In 2002 it was accorded species status in the genus Papilionanthe, despite its appearance alongside a native population of Luisia megsepala, to which it is not entirely dissimilar. In 2004 Julian Shaw, the trained botanist who is senior registrar of orchid hybrids, concluded it was really a natural hybrid with L. megasepala, hence Papilisia x taiwaniana. The other parent, as yet indeterminate, is quite conceivably Papilionanthe teres. Papilionanthe taiwaniana holds on to species rank for the time being. However, its resemblance to hybrids such as Papilisia Uniwai (Luisia tristis x Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim) (University of Hawaii, 1952) does make it a worthy candidate for DNA sequencing. [Emrys Chew Ph. D.]

  • Papilionanthe × taiwaniana (S.S.Ying) Ormerod (2002)
  • Vanda taiwaniana S.S.Ying (1989)
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Jorge Li
Papilionanthe × taiwaniana (syn)
Manote Quahphanit
Papi. × taiwaniana
Kirk Hoo
Papi. × taiwaniana
Edwin Alberto Pérez
Papilionanthe taiwaniana (syn)
簡天成
Papi. × taiwaniana
簡天成
Papi. × taiwaniana
Jumbo Orchids
Papilionanthe taiwaniana (syn)
簡天成
Papi. × taiwaniana
Chun Ming Chen
Papi. × taiwaniana
簡天成
Papi. × taiwaniana
Chun Ming Chen
Papi. × taiwaniana
more ...


Species Ancestors (2)

Immediate Offspring section is now moved to the last item in the collapsible section above