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Old 10-11-2017, 02:50 PM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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Default What does ‘x self’ mean

Hi. I have an orchid labelled ‘Cattleya purpurata x self’. Can anyone tell me what the ‘x self’ means.

Is this a species? A select form of a species ? Or a hybrid ?

The tag came with it illustrates a white flower. Not sure how meaningful that is

Also, I’ve never understood whether select forms of a species are considered ‘species orchids’ by orchid enthusiasts. Can anyone clarify?


Last edited by ArronOB; 10-11-2017 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:11 PM
rbarata rbarata is online now
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It means your plant was born from a flower pollinated by another flower from the same plant. Hence the term "self".

Also, I’ve never understood whether select forms of a species are considered ‘species orchids’ by orchid enthusiasts. Can anyone clarify?
We, you, me and all people in the world are from the same species, Homo sapiens, but some of us are blond, other have black skin, etc, etc.
Meteo data at my city here.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:14 PM
PaphMadMan PaphMadMan is offline
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"x self" simply means the plant in question was self-pollinated - pollen from the plant was placed on the stigma of the same plant, or another division or clone of the same plant. It should not be used in any other way, but it may not always be used accurately.

Your plant is of the species Cattleya purpurata. It can't be considered a select form without more information about the parent plant. Too often, x self crosses are made just because it is the only plant someone has available, no matter what it looks like or if it is even a strong healthy plant.

Cattleya purpurata can be pure white, white or near white with a colored lip of various red/pink/purple shades, or can be strongly colored throughout or even striped or flared. The tag may of may not be representative of the parent plant.

Select forms of species are still species orchids, even after many generations of selective breeding. However, some species purists might not appreciate them.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:42 PM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Correction: 'x self' = pollen from same plant, or possibly from a plant that is a natural division of the same plant.

If it is a clone (meristem propagated plant), it cannot be considered 100.000% identical, especially if it is a 2nd or 3rd round propagation, due to the random mutations that can occur with that form for propagation. In that scenario I would judge it to be 'x sib' (for sibling).

Yes, this is splitting hairs, as in both cases the offspring remains a true species.
Kim (Fair Orchids)

Founder of SPCOP (Society to Prevention of Cruelty to Orchid People), with the goal of barring the taxonomists from tinkering with established genera!

I am neither a 'lumper' nor a 'splitter', but I refuse to re-write millions of labels.
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meaningful, orchid, select, self’, species

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