Phragmipedium section Micropetalum (Hallier)Garay
in Orchid Digest 43(4): 133, 1979.

Basionym :
   Paphiopedilum section Micropetalum Hallier in Ann. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg 14: 46, 1897.

Type species :
   Phragmipedium schlimii (Linden & Rchb. f.)Rolfe

Characteristics : The species in the section Micropetalum are characterized by the petals which are in form and colour like the dorsal sepal, but are bigger. The petals are relatively wide and therefore lack the long and narrow shape which is so common with the other species of the genus Phragmipedium.

Species : At the moment the general opinion is that this section consists of five species and two (colour) forms. The famous red Phrag. besseae is a member of this section. As well as the closely related Phrag. dalessandroi. Also in this section is the well known Phrag. schlimii and its more recently described close relatives Phrag. fischeri and Phrag. andreettae. The two colour forms are a yellow form of Phrag. besseae, known as Phrag. besseae f. flavum, and an almost white form of Phrag. schlimii which is known as Phrag. schlimii f. albiflorum.
As of June 2002 this section of the genus Phragmipedium has a new member: the spectacular Phrag. kovachii. It is closely related to the species fischeri and schlimii, but has much larger flowers (up to 18 cm wide) and a stunning colour. At least that has been the opinion of the various taxonomists since the discovery of this species. However in 2004 Dr. Guido J. Braem removed Phrag. kovachii from this section and placed it in its own newly created section Schluckebieria. (see there for further information.)
Halfway 2006 a new species was described as Phrag. andreettae. It is a small flowered species that is closely allied to Phrag. schlimii and Phrag. fischeri.

Taxonomic history :
 
schlimii
albiflorum
fischeri
andreettae
besseae
flavum
dalessandroi
kovachii
Veitch
1887-1894
Stein
1892
Pfitzer
1903
Fortin
1975
L.A. Garay
1979
Schoser
1983
Hennessy & Hedge
1989
L.M. McCook
1989
C. Cash
1991
O. Gruss
1996
L.M. McCook
1998
O. Gruss
2003
        schlimii       schlimii schlimii schlimii schlimii
        (not mentioned)¹       schlimii var. albiflorum schlimii f. albiflorum (not mentioned) schlimii f. albiflorum
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) schlimii
 
fischeri
 
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity)
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity)       besseae besseae besseae besseae
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (not mentioned) besseae var. flava (not mentioned) besseae f. flavum
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) besseae var. dalessandroi² besseae dalessandroi
(unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) (unknown entity) kovachii

1 - Although Leslie A. Garay does not mention the entity albiflorum he does mention, and I quote: "..., P. Schlimii, is rather variable especially in the intensity of color and marmoration of petals and lip."
2 - Olaf Gruss mentions that the differences between besseae and dalessandroi are so big that describing it as a new species would be a wise thing to do. He also mentions that this entity is mentioned at the variety level by Donald F. Wimber at the 14th World Orchid Conference in Glasgow in 1994 and depicted in the proceedings without being officially described. Gruss uses however the name Phrag. besseae var. dalessandroi hort. in his article.