Phragmipedium schlimii (Linden & Rchb. f.)Rolfe
in The Orchid Review 4: 332, 1896.

Basionym :
   Selenipedium schlimii Linden & Rchb. f. in Bonplandia 2: 277, 1854, and in Xenia Orchidaceae 1: 125, tb. 44, 1854.

Type :

Synonyms :
   Cypripedium schlimii (Linden & Rchb. f.)Bateman in Curtis's Botanical Magazine 92: t. 5614, 1866.
   Paphiopedilum schlimii (Linden & Rchb. f.)Stein in Stein's Orchideenbuch: 483, 1892.
   Phragmopedilum schlimii (Linden & Rchb. f.)Pfitzer in Engler Jahrbuch 25: 527, 1898.

Varieties :
   Phrag. schlimii f. albiflorum

Since this species is very variable, especially in the coloration of the flowers, it's not surprising that several varieties can be found in the literature:
   var. albiflorum Linden (var. album hort.) - With almost pure white flowers which only in the central area of the flower show some pinkish coloration.
   var. atroroseum hort. - With pink flowers.
   var. superbum hort. - With white flowers which have almost red coloration.

According to Gruss (1996) only the first of the above mentioned varieties seems to be worth recognition, but than only as a forma and not a variety.

Etymology : The species is named after Mr. Louis Joseph Schlim. He was Linden's half brother and discovered this species during one of his travels, in Columbia.

Description
Plant :
Leaves :
Inflorescence :
Flower : The petals of this species are quite broad, oval shaped and sometimes almost round. The petals look similar to the sepals but are bigger.
This species is very variable when it comes to the coloration of the flowers. Basically the flower is white with purple-pink coloration on the tepals and the lip. The colour of the staminode is yellow with two purple-red spots at the lower end.

Habitat : The plants of this species grow at altitudes of 1200 to 1900 meters in places where humus has collected on granite rocks and also in-between tree roots together with partly high grasses. The relative moist growing sites are strongly covered with mosses. The plants stand mostly in semi-shaded locations.
The temperatures at the growing sites can be as high as 25°C in the summer and as low as 8°C in winter. The relative humidity of the air is approximately 70-80%.

Distribution : Columbia, in the East-Cordilleren at altitudes of 1200-2000 m near Ocaña and in the Central-Cordilleren near Medellin. Large colonies of this species can be found at the banks of the Rio Algondal and its river branches around Ocaña.

Flowering season :

Chromosomes : 2n = 30 (Karasawa, 1980; Atwood, 1984).

History : The species was discovered not far from Ocaña, Columbia in February 1852 by Louis Joseph Schlim, Linden's half brother. Based on this collection Linden and Reichenbach f. described this new species in 1854 in Bonplandia as Selenipedium schlimii.
Schlim had made such precise description of the location where he found the plants that 2 years later Wagener visited that same place and collected some specimens. He created some herbarium-specimens and also send some living plants to Europe.
Based on the herbarium material from both collections Reichenbach f. made an extensive publication in 1854 in Xenia Orchidaceae.
1866 Bateman classified this species as Cypripedium schlimii in Curtis's Botanical Magazine. The definitive classification was done by Rolfe in 1896 in Orchid Review.

Comments : As is mentioned before this species is very variable in flower colour. They range from intensive pink, almost red to almost pure white flowers. It is said that in the western part of the distribution area the flowers are quite pale, where as in the eastern part of the distribution area the flowers have a more intensive colour.
This species is easy to distinguish from the other Phragmipedium-species. Only Phrag. fischeri resembles it but can be recognized by the differently shaped staminode. Unfortunately for as long as approximately 100 years look-a-like hybrids are cultivated, used for further hybridization and sold as Phrag. schlimii. Involved is mostly the hybrid with Phrag. longifolium called Phrag. Sedenii. As well as the hybrid Phrag. Cardinale (Sedenii x schlimii) and also Phrag. Stenophyllum (schlimii x caricinum). These hybrids can easily be recognized by the differently shaped staminode and the difference in size between the dorsal sepal and the petals. In the true schlimii these are more or less the same size.

Hybrids :
   Phrag. schlimii
      x Phrag. besseae = Phrag. Hanne Popow
      x Phrag. boissierianum = Phrag. Cleola
      x Phrag. boissierianum var. czerwiakowianum = Phrag. Silver Eagle
      x Phrag. caricinum = Phrag. Stenophyllum
      x Phrag. caudatum = Phrag. Saundersianum
      x Phrag. dalessandroi = Phrag. Seymour Tower
      x Phrag. fischeri = Phrag. Pink Panther
      x Phrag. hartwegii = Phrag. Leucorrhodum
      x Phrag. hincksianum = Phrag. Albanense
      x Phrag. klotzscheanum = Phrag. Colorado Mission
      x Phrag. kovachii = Phrag. Eumelia Arias
      x Phrag. lindleyanum = Phrag. L'Unique
      x Phrag. lindleyanum var. sargentianum = Phrag. Coral Jewel
      x Phrag. longifolium = Phrag. Sedenii
      x Phrag. pearcei = Phrag. Carol Kanzer
      x Phrag. pearcei var. ecuadorense = Phrag. Tickled Pink
      x Phrag. richteri = Phrag. Wössen
      x Phrag. vittatum = Phrag. Stella
      x Phrag. Andean Fire = Phrag. Holly Huizing
      x Phrag. Barbara LeAnn = Phrag. Lynn Evans-Goldner
      x Phrag. Cardinale = Phrag. Cardinal-Schlim
      x Phrag. Conchiferum = Phrag. Baconis
      x Phrag. Dennis Kleinbach = Phrag. Alma Winter
      x Phrag. Dominianum = Phrag. Albopurpureum
      x Phrag. Ecua-Bess = Phrag. Sandy DeLuca
      x Phrag. Eric Young = Phrag. Cape Sunset
      x Phrag. Hanne Popow = Phrag. Petit Port
      x Phrag. Jason Fischer = Phrag. Rosy Glow
      x Phrag. Katahdin Sunset = Phrag. Shenandoah Dawn
      x Phrag. Magdalene Rose = Phrag. Sara Beth
      x Phrag. Memoria Dick Clements = Phrag. Rosy Charm
      x Phrag. Rosalie Dixler = Phrag. Tammi Jo Hilsenbeck
      x Phrag. Saint Ouen = Phrag. Saint Eligius
      x Phrag. Sedenii = Phrag. Cardinale
      x Phrag. Silver Eagle = Phrag. Eileen Rickman
      x Phrag. Sorcerer's Apprentice = Phrag. Westmount
      x Phrag. Twilight = Phrag. Shimmer
      x Phrag. Waunakee Sunset = Phrag. Sunspot

      Intergeneric hybrids :
      x Paphiopedilum bellatulum = Phrphm. Fourman's Freckles
      x Paphiopedilum micranthum = Phrphm. Fourman's Twilight
      x Paphiopedilum Harrisianum = Phrphm. Malhouitri