Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum Mr Wonderful

We've seen a Mr Wonderful before, in 2013; this one's duller and not as spotty as that one.

For comparison purposes, here's 2013's specimen:

The ancestry of this particular hybrid, as I reported it in 2013, is:

Paphiopedilum Mr. Wonderful = P. Knock Knock x P. Gloriosum

and the ancestry I found for the 2015 version is

Paphiopedilum Mr Wonderful = P. Anhinga x P. Friedrich von Hayek

Which are obviously not the same. Ugh, you're thinking, another Mr. Subjunctive tirade about mislabeled plants, I bet there's something interesting on TV right now I could be watching instead of reading this. But no!

(I mean, that's probably right, about the TV. But there is a twist in this story!)

The twist is: either ancestry, or both ancestries, is potentially correct! The International Orchid Registry has a listing for a Paphiopedilum Mister Wonderful, Knock Knock x Gloriosum, 1996, and a listing for Paphiopedilum Mr Wonderful, Anhinga x Freidrich von Hayek, 2010.

So which one is this? Which one was the one from 2013?


I don't think I'll ever know. Search engines return few or no results for "Paphiopedilum 'Mister Wonderful,'" but lots of results for "Paphiopedilum 'Mr Wonderful,'" and the pictures that come up in both cases look like the 2013 picture. But, search engines can't necessarily be trusted to look for what you actually type anymore, even with quote marks, and I didn't bother to click on all the pages to see whether they had it as "Mr" or "Mister." It probably wouldn't matter either way: I sure as hell don't trust orchid sellers and random Flickr photographers to know that "Mister Wonderful" isn't the same thing as "Mr Wonderful,"1 or to refrain from abbreviating out of laziness.

So I wind up wanting to write sternly-worded letters to the International Orchid Registry people about what in the hell were they thinking, approving two greges with (for all practical purposes) the same name. I probably won't, of course. And they wouldn't listen if I did. But if someone important in the IOR hierarchy happens to be reading: maybe watch out for this in the future?2 Or at least bring it up at the next meeting and see what everybody else says?

Here to play us out of the post is Mr. Mister, with the video for "Broken Wings," because when else could Mr. Mister ever be so appropriate? Take what is wrong and make it right, International Orchid Registry.


1 I'm not even sure how I found out that Mr != Mister. And I was there when it happened, presumably.
2 Also keep an eye out for Doctor/Dr., Saint/St., and Mount/Mt. pairs while you're at it. Or maybe just disallow abbreviations entirely? Kinda surprised that hasn't happened already, frankly.

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