Monday, January 23, 2012

Pretty picture: Phragmipedium Sargent Eric 'Timberlane'

And yet another case of a mis-tagged plant: the tag on this one was Phrag. Eric Sargeant 'Timberlane,' not Phrag. Sergeant Eric 'Timberlane.' So not only a misspelling, but also a word transposition as well. (EDIT: apparently this is just a really confusing situation; BrianO says in comments that it really was Sargent, named for one of the parent species, P. sargentianum. Which isn't what the tag said, and isn't what Google thinks -- Google favors "Sergeant Eric" -- either, but I'm going to stop complaining about this one being mis-tagged because clearly, no mere human could possibly have figured out the name of this hybrid on his/r own.)

There's also a lot of confusion regarding the proper spelling of "Sergeant," but that's not terribly surprising, 'cause it's a difficult word. One E sounding like an A, another E making no sound at all -- the whole word's just a madhouse, which is what we get for trying to take words from the French. Should have known the French would booby-trap their words to make them unstealable.

It took me long enough to figure out the name that I was left with no interest whatsoever in trying to track down the ancestry of this flower, but I did run into an interesting site in the process, which has pictures of quite a few Paphiopedilum hybrids. (Why a website about paph crosses should show up in a search for a particular phrag cross, I have no idea.) Lots of pictures isn't even the interesting part, though: the interesting part is that the flowers of the hybrids are sitting right next to pictures of the species that were crossed to produce them, so you can actually kind of see what characteristics came from which parent, and what happens when you swap one parent out and put in a different one, and that kind of thing. Our good friend Paph. St. Swithin is there (St. Swithin = Paph. philippinense x Paph. rothschildianum), and there's lots of great eye candy, whether you care about the genetics or not.

But you should totally care about the genetics.


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous orchid! I've only ever seen one like that once before. It came in a tray of assorted paphs which normally retail for $29.99. As soon as I saw the phrag, I knew something wasn't right. I put a retail of $50 on it and it sold 15 minutes later. I was kicking myself for not keeping it aside for my own when the grower called, in a panic. One of his part-timers had stuck it in our shipment by mistake. It should have retailed at $100. I explained how it was already gone, so sorry.. and could he please send me some more? At the proper price, natch. He said that was his only specimen and he'd been saving it for a show. Oops!
Do you happen to remember the cost of the one you saw?


mr_subjunctive said...


It wasn't for sale; it was somebody's personal plant, and part of the show.

Sometimes, when I'm researching the names for a post, I run across places selling the plant, but I don't recall doing so for this one (and at the moment, almost all the Google results I'm getting point back to this post, so I've made it more difficult to find plants for sale); I did track down a few places that had phrags for sale, but didn't see any that were remotely like Sergeant Eric 'Timberlane.'

Anonymous said...


the "sargent" here is derived from one of the parents Phragmipedium sargentianum.

C.S. Sargent was a director of the Arnold arboretum at Harvard.

boa sorte


r said...

'Timberlane' is a name assigned to this particular clone. not that important..