Dr. John Martin of Evergreen Hill Orchids has been an accredited judge in the Southwest Judging Region for more than 30 years and he shared his insights on quality specimens of our lovely phalaenopsis orchids. This should give you an idea of what names and colors to look for when you’re choosing an orchid for your home.
WHITE PHALS: aphrodite and amabilis, in their original, collected forms, were floppy and open. Selective breeding evolved some well-formed, closed, hard forms, well displayed on long, arching stems.
PINK/LAVENDERS: schilleriana and sanderiana. A good pink has even color distribution as well as good form, good stem, good flower count, good presentation and good substance. A fine lavender is Abendrot 'Tammany Rose', HCC/AOS, with even color and good contrasting lip. Phal. sanderiana brings us the desert tones, and tends to spread color better than schilleriana.
YELLOW: amboinensis When hybridized with large white the result should be yellow, not cream or ivory. Critically, "good" yellow phalaenopsis examples are Universal Princess and Templed Hills, which is marvelously colored.
NOVELTY COLORS: violacea Two of the best violacea (Borneo) clones are: 'Country Acres', AM/AOS; and 'Ponkan', AM/AOS. With amboinensis and violacea you must consider you are not going to get as many flowers as with sanderiana or equestris. We are seeing good form and fantastic colors in modern violacea hybrids which challenge us to go even further with this breeding.
SPOTS: stuartiana Many award and near-award quality clones have evolved, usually well-presented, well-formed, spotted flowers, beautifully marked, lots of spots and beautiful contrasting lips, but with poor to fair substance. The spots are not absolutely necessary, but are very desirable for consideration as "good" and/or awarded orchids. An example having only a few spots is Phal. stuartiana 'Dorothy Martin', AM/AOS.
MULTIFLORA: equestris Semi-albas, stripes and blushes all have equestris used frequently in their development. "Riverbend' was the clone that revolutionized phalaenopsis equestris breeding.