Coryhopea Off the Wall

(Stanhopea wardii x Coryanthes macrantha)

Edited 27 April 2007
© Nina Rach

Photo by Nina Rach This intergeneric cross of Stanhopea wardii x Coryanthes macrantha has been made by several people, but the only precise hybridizing records were kept by a group at Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. (now Prof.) Larry Mellichamp and an assistant made the first cross in 1986, and it bloomed in 1992 to yield what Piedmont OS member Gordon Kenyon terms "a ... wrinkled flower and highly spotted flower, resembling the Cory parent more than the Stan."

This cross was also made at an unknown date at the Missouri Botanic Garden (MOBOT) using the clone Stanhopea wardii 'Tower Grove' as the pod parent. The pod was given to Herman Pigors at Oak Hill Gardens. It did not start blooming at Oak Hill until 2000/2001.

Plants prefer to grow wet in very warm and humid conditions, and bloom prolifically from March-August when given copious amounts of water. There are typically four flowers per pendant inflorescence.

Stan. wardii


Plants grown tightly in baskets will sometimes grow upright inflorescences!! However, the weight of the flowers, after the buds open, is enough to cause the inflorescence to fold downward and crack.

Stanhopea wardii, photo by Troy Meyers at right, is found from Nicaragua to Venezuela. Coryanthes macrantha is found in Peru. The flowers of this Coryanthes species are speckled deep red and can grow quite large, up to the size of a grapefruit.



UNC Coryhopea - second generation


The UNC group crossed this primary hybrid (Stanhopea wardii x Coryanthes macrantha) back onto Stanhopea wardii and produced a visually appealing second-generation hybrid, as shown to the left in the photo by Gordon Kenyon. The flower has picked up much more of the yellow coloration from Stanhopea wardii. This second-generation hybrid has not yet been registered, but the UNC group will be attending to that in the near future.


AOS Awards:

Coryhopea Off the Wall 'Roxwell Smith' AM/AOS 81 pts and AD/AOS (Award of Distinction; granted once to a cross that represents a distinctive/desirable new line of breeding). Awarded at the West Palm Beach Judging Center on 25 May 2002. Exhibited by Gail Roberts-Smith, Miami, FL.
"One fully open flower and one bud on one pendent inflorescence; sepals and petals cream-colored with green suffusion, heavily spotted oxblood; scoop-like lip trilobed at apex, heavily saturated oxblood basally; substance firm, texture waxy. Nat. spr. 17.1 cm, 8.8 cm vert; ds 4.3 cm w, 6.4 cm l; pet 5.6 cm w, 11.0 cm l; ls 1.9 cm w, 7.7 cm l; lip 3.9 cm w, 9.8 cm l."

Coryhopea Off the Wall 'Le Balzak' HCC/AOS 79 pts. Awarded at the Houston Judging Center on 17 August 2002. Photographed by Charlotte Randolph. Exhibited by Nina Rach, Autre Vie Orchids.
"Three flowers on one pendulous inflorescence; sepals and petals cream-colored, peppered with well-defined dark brick red spots; sepals much wider than petals, similar to Coryanthes parent; lip yellow with red-brown spots apically becoming bands; epichile acuminate. closely wrapped by horns, mesochile area indistinct, hypochile with broken ridges; lip hard and waxy; sepals and petals normal; fragrant. Nat. spr. 15.0 cm, 9.0 cm vert; ds 3.0 cm w, 7.7 cm l; pet 1.4 cm w, 6.0 cm l; ls 3.5 cm w; 9.8 cm l; lip 4.7 cm w, 8.5 cm l."

Printed References:

Awards Quarterly (Fall 2002) 34(3):149; contains all three AOS awards:
'Le Balzak' HCC/AOS 79 pts, 8/17/2002, Houston Judging Center, with color photo by Charlotte Randolph on p. 168.
'Roxwell Smith' AM/AOS 81 pts and AD/AOS, 5/25/2002, West Palm Beach Center Monthly Judging. No photo.

Web References:

Stanhopea Hybrids

International Plant Names Index [IPNI],

Coryanthes macrantha from Peru, at Akerne Orchids in Belgium

Coryanthes macrantha with view down into the heavily spotted "pouch"-like hypochile.

Coryanthes macrantha by R.K. Gems (several different views)

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