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Angraecum sesquipedale Comet Orchid


Comet Orchid , Angraecum sesquipedale


Angraecum sesquipedale Thours 1822

Flower Size To 7" [to 16.5 cm] Spur to 14" [to 35 cm]

Common Name Comet Orchid

This is a large sized, hot growing species from the island of Madagascar that has 1 to 6 fragrant blooms in the winter on shorter than the leaves, 12" [30 cm] long, bracteate, axillary inflorescence and is found at altitudes of 100 meters or less on sloping tree trunks and crotches of trees near the seashore and it is consistantly warm and has abundant rainfall year round that produce large, waxy, long-lived, fragrant flowers through the winter and is an evergreen epiphyte that needs even water and fertilizer and thrives if given ample air circulation. It has the common name of the 'Comet Orchid'. It has rarely straight, many leafed stems with distichous, ligulate, coriaceous, unequally bilobed apically leaves. This species was made famous by Charles Darwin's prediction that there would be a pollinator aout there that could reach to the bottom of the extremely long spur in the back of the flower. His prediction cam e true with the discovery of a long-tongued hawk moth, Xanthopan morganii praedicta Photo by Tony Watkinson, years later.

Synonyms Aeranthes sesquipedalis[Thou]Lindley 1824; Aeranthus sesquipedalis[Thou]Lindley; Angorchis sesquipedale [Thou]O.Ktze. 1891; Angraecum bosseri Senghas 1973; Angraecum sesquipedale var. angustifolium Bosser & Morat 1972; Macroplectrum sesquipedale [Thou]Rolfe; Macroplectrum sesquipedale[Thou.] Pfitz. 1889; Mystacidium sesquipedale Rolfe 1904