|Phrag. Eumelia Arias|
|Sabine w/ Phrag & its original container|
2. One of Eumelia Arias's parent species, Phrag. kovachii, has a fascinating history. The 2001 discovery of Phrag. kovachii was monumental for the orchid community: the flowers had a deep purple color no one had seen before (opening up a new world of hybridization possibilities) and its flowers were huge. But the drive to be the first to import and describe the new species led to dodgy behavior. Its Western discoverer, Michael Kovach, faced thousands of dollars in fines for illegally smuggling the plant from Peru into the US. The late Eric Christenson was inches away from writing the first description of it, but Kovach and the Selby Botanical Garden bum rushed the taxon, and so now we call it Phrag. kovachii (instead of peruviana). Big discovery. Big controversy.
3. Finally, the flower is super gorgeous and it has a diamond dusting look that's inadequately captured in the photos. It's stare-worthy.
All in all, it's a highly satisfying orchid. I definitely see more Phrags in my future.