Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid (species: Paphiopedilum rothschildianum) from Kinabalu Park (commonly known as the Gold of Kinabalu orchid). Also locally known as Sumazau Orchid, because the long sweeping side petals of flower look like the outspread arms of dancer of Sumazau, the most popular traditional dance of Sabah.
Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid only grows on the slope of Mt. Kinabalu between 500 and 1,200 Meters in altitude. Most local villagers and orchid smugglers know this and steal the flower, making them vulnerable to extinction.
why Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid, “the aristocrat of all slipper orchids”, is so expensive.
1) The Rothschild’s orchid is only native to Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia. This strain of the orchid species is scarce even there so it is protected by the government.
2) This specific species of orchid was not discovered until 1987 and the flower only grows on the slope of Mt. Kinabalu between 500 and 1,200 meters in altitude.
3)Since the plant is endangered and protected by the Malaysia government it is illegal to pick. The plant is only available from smugglers on the black market at a price of up to $5,000 per stolen stem.
4) The flower itself can take up to 15 years to take bloom. This is one reason they are so rare, and even at Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia they are extremely difficult to find.
5)It’s beautiful too!!