I find Paphiopedilums fascinating!
It may be that my fascination comes from the fact that I killed a couple - full of good intention, I religiously misted them twice daily. Then someone far wiser than me suggested that this was the very thing that was killing them. Apparently, they do not like water collecting in the crowns (although how they deal with rainwater in the wild remains a mystery to me).
So now I have three. A Paph. pinnocchio, and two noid Paphs. One of the noids is a rescue plant, saved from someone who kept it stood in a bowl of water. One year on, it now has five healthy leaves! No great shakes you may think, but all that I had to work with was the smallest of new crowns on an otherwise dead plant. The other noid is the subject of the following series of photographs.
As the flower buds of a Paphiopedilum open, they seem to take on a variety of "faces", from slightly sinister (almost predatory) to what seems downright comical (to me anyway)!
This particular noid looks to be a hybrid of P.glaucophyllum and an unknown parent. It's a strong sequential bloomer which appeared to enjoy it's time outdoors this summer and continues to bloom having been bought back indoors. It has now been in bloom for ten months with no end in sight. Paph. glaucophyllum can start a new flower spike from another part of the plant before the old spike has finished, effectively becoming ever flowering. How nice would it be if I'm correct about the parentage of this noid and it were to inherit this characteristic!