Angraecum sesquipedale

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Angraecum sesquipedale (not my photo)

Common Name: Comet Orchid
Scent: yes
Light Requirements: partial shade
Temperature Requirements: hot
Blooms: winter
Flower Size: to 16.5cm, to 35cm spur
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

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, 30cm long, bracteate, axillary inflorescence and is found at altitudes of 100m or less on sloping tree trunks and crotches of trees near the seashore and it is consistently 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 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 that could reach to the bottom of the extremely long spur in the back of the flower. His prediction came true with the discovery of a long-tongued hawk moth, Xanthopan morganii praedicta.


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