AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aerangis citrata (Thouars) Schltr., Orchideen: 598 (1914).
Synonyms:
Angraecum citratum Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: 61 (1822).
Aerobion citratum (Thouars) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 3: 718 (1826).
Angorchis citrata (Thouars) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 651 (1891).
Rhaphidorhynchus citratus (Thouars) Finet, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 54(9): 35 (1907).
Description:
Plants acaulis or with a very short stern (6 cm at most). Leaves 4-5, oblong-cuneiform (7-16 x 2- 3.5 cm), very unequally bilobed, acute and oblique. Inflorescence longer than the leaves, 10-30 cm long; peduncle longer than the flower cluster, with 4-5 very short cuspidate sheaths; 15-60 flowered, flowers 6- 10 mm apart; bracts 2-2.5 mm long, longer than the articulate base. Median sepal wide, obovate-obtuse, very small (5-7 x 3.5mm), lateral sepals and petals smaller (8 x 5 mm), petals obovate-cuneiform, petals slightly smaller than the lateral sepals. Labellum widely obovate-cuneiform (10 x 8 mm), emarginate medially at the apex; spur 25-30 mm long, swollen-claviform in the apical third. Column 2.5-3 mm long, stigma (I .6mm) slightly wider than the bane (1.1 mm.); clinandrium margins entire (1. 1 mm); tongue of the rostellum recurved, slightly spatulate apically, not longer than the back edge of the stigma. Anther hyaline and bare, rounded or straight in front; pollina globulous; cauda linear, with a small swollen, oval viscidiums apically. Pedicel 6-8 mm long.
Habitat:
Aerangis citrata is a very common orchid that is indigenous to Madagascar, where it always grows epiphytically. This highly adaptable species occurs from sea leve! to an altitude of 1,500 meters (4,900 feet), from Fort-Dauphin in the southeast all the way up through central Madagascar to the northwestern region. The authors collected plants of this species near Talatakely, some 30 km from Antananarivo. This species is always found growing in shade, never very far from water. Its flowering season in its natural habitat is between September and March.
Cultivation:
Read more of Cultivation of Aerangis citrata (Thouars) Schltr.
Notes:
This is one of the most popular of the small-species aerangis types. It is very easy to grow and presents a spray of flowers that is very showy, as all the flowers "point" in one direction (like a "mini" white phalaenopsis). A well-grower plant of Aerangis citrata may carry five to many inflorescences. The flowers open successively, commencing with those closest to the base of the peduncle. Several weeks may pass before al! flowers, working toward the tip, have opened. The flowers of most plants are not pure lemon yellow-colored, but seem to have at least a hint of yellow in their creamy white or ivory-hued flowers. The flowers are fragrant, long-lasting, and full-petalled for an aerangis. In the northern hemisphere, this species blooms in the summer, although a well-grown plant may flower more than once a year. This is a choice plant from every standpoint; in fact, its growth habit alone makes it worthwhile and desirable. This is an excellent (probably the best) candidate for "lights" culture, and for collectors of "mini" species.
Distribution:
Madagascar
References:
Orchideen, 598 (1914) Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Hillerman, F. and A. Holst. 1986. An introduction to the cultivated Angraecoid orchids of Madagascar. Timber Press, Portland, Ore. Northen, R. 1980. Miniature orchids. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. Pridgeon, A. ed. 1992. The illustrated encyclopedia of orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR. w3 Tropicos. 1999. Missouri Botanical Garden, WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 18.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Photos/drawings:
Hillerman, F. and A. Holst. 1986. An introduction to the cultivated Angraecoid orchids of Madagascar. Timber Press, Portland, Ore.
Images:
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      Habitat/ In situ          Habitat/ In situ     Habitat/ In situ     Habitat/ In situ
Aerangis citrata 01 Aerangis citrata 02 Aerangis citrata 03 Aerangis citrata 04
Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.

In culture In culture In culture In culture In culture In culture
aerangis citrata 01 aerangis citrata 02 aerangis citrata 03 aerangis citrata 04 aerangis citrata 05 aerangis citrata 06
Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission.