Paphiopedilum fairrieanum

Paph. fairrieanum

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Cypripedioideae
SubTribe: Paphiopedilinae
Genus: Paphiopedilum
Species: Paph. fairrieanum
Binomial name
Paphiopedilum fairrieanum
(Lindley) Stein 1892

Paphiopedilum fairrieanum is a terrestrial species of orchid in the genus Paphiopedilum.


Plant blooms from late autumn through spring with a 10 cm wide flower. The leaves are dull green and strap-shaped with no markings. Plants are reported to form clumps in nature. The flowers are born atop a long, weakly, pubescent peduncle with a single, medium sized flower. Flower with broad, white dorsal sepal that is finely penciled and suffused with purple; petals deflexed and ruffled at margins, lined in purple; lip urceolate, tan, flecked with rust colored dots, microscopically pubescent. Synsepal smaller than dorsal sepal, milk-colored, striped purple. Fly pollinated.

From Van Der Cingel 2001: "One of the adaptations mentioned for myophilous/ sapromyophilous flowers to attract or guide pollinators is the presence of transparent windows. These windows guide a fly to certain places inside or outside the flower and relate to the behaviour of flies towards light in dark places. Such windows are usually mentioned as guidance for trapped insectes inside the lip of Cypripedioideae. Their significance has often been discussed. In P. fairrieanum there are 'auxiliary transparent windows' in the flag (dorsal sepal), 'serving as a backboard as in basketball', which are therefore supposed to play a role in the attraction of flies (Van der Pijl & Dodson 1966)."


This species occurs in the Indian Himalayas and Bhutan and Sikkim, India between 1,300 and 2,200 meters. It occurs as a humus epiphyte on limestone cliffs in the oak forest near water and on grassy slopes. The area is subjected to heavy rain in the summer and fall. In the spring there is moderate amounts of rain and in the winter there are drizzles and fog.


Plants can be grown in cool temperatures in the winter and intermediate to warm temperatures in the summer in under bright light but not full sun. The medium should be around a neutral pH and should remain moist but never soggy. Water heavily during the growing season and reduce watering and keep cool to induce blooming. Flower last longer in cool conditions


Paphiopedilum fairrieanum album Paphiopedilum fairrieanum fma. bohlmannianum Matho 1942 Flower has white petals and sepals with green veins, and a green lip


Common Name:Fairrie's Paphiopedilum

Named in honor of Mr. Fairrie of Liverpool. First described as Cypripedium Fairieanum by Lindley in Curtis's Botanical Magazine 1 December 1857.


  1. Cordula fairrieana (Lindley) Rolfe 1912
  2. Cypripedium assamicum Linden ex Koch & Fintelm. 1858
  3. *Cypripedium fairrieanum Lindley 1857
  4. Paphiopedilum fairrieanum var. bohlmannianum Mato 1942
  5. Paphiopedilum fairrieanum var. giganteum Pradhan 1979
  6. Paphiopedilum fairrieanum var. nigrescens Pradhan 1979
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