AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aeranthes grandiflora Lindl., Bot. Reg. 10: t. 817 (1824).
Synonyms:
Angraecum grandiflorum (Lindl.) auct., Orchid Album 11: 514 (1895).
Aeranthes brachycentron Regel, Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 11: 303 (1890).
Description:
Acaulis or subacaulis epiphytes, with 5-7 narrowly oblong. coriaceous leaves (15-25 x 3-3.5 cm), contracted and articulate basally, bilobed unequally apically. Inflorescences pendent, 10-30 cm. long, with 1-2 flowers; peduncle covered completely by the sheaths, which are longer than the internodes; pedicel thicker than the peduncle, 8-10 mm long (not including the ovary); flowers of a light green, with the acumin of the divisions flower and the spur yellowish. Median sepal 5-5.2 cm long with the basal portion oval (14 mm wide), acuminate in a long 3-3.2 cm point; lateral sepals very long, very shortly joined between the base and front, widely adnate to the column foot and very widely dilate-angular from the front margin, and slightly enlarged on the opposite margin, 2 cm wide between the two enlarged areas, then abruptly acuminate in a long point an that in the median sepal. Petals free, shorter (4 cm) in a very longly acuminate-oval lamina. Labellum with its articulation very wide, slightly auriculate basally, in the form of a slightly obovate lamina (2.5 x 2 cm). abrupt) acuminate in a l5 mm long point, bearing several bumps on its bane: spur narrow basally then abruptly enlarged, elongate-clavate and obtuse. Anther (4 mm in diameter) excised apically, pollina oval, free, cauda retracted: bandeletts in a concave lamina, 3 mm long, each tipped with a small gland. Column 3-4 mm wider than tall; foot widely-navicular (2 x 0.8-0.9 cm) slightly contracted toward the spur. 7-9 veined: rostellum in 2 pendent laminas, attenuate and compressed apically, 3 mm long and 1.7 mm wide basally, without intermediary teeth. Ovary 8-l0 mm long (not including the pedicel).
Habitat:
Aeranthes graudiflora grows epiphytically on tree trunks in damp forest in central and eastern Madagascar at elevations of 0 to 1,200 meters (0—3,900 feet). Widely separated localities where it is known to have been collected are Montagne d'Ambre in northern Madagascar; Ambila, to the south of Tamatave on the east coast; and Saint-Louis Peak near Fort-Dauphin in the southeast. In the wilds this species flowers between July and December. It is endemic on the island.
Cultivation:
Read more of cultivation of Aeranthes grandiflora Lindl.,
Notes:
This aeranthes species is reasonably well known, having been somewhat available for many years. Its long blooming season and the large size of its flowers will ensure it a permanent place among the best of the aeranthes. Its flower form is different and not without charm, even though some might call it a bit bizarre or even weird. The plant is of a perfect size for small growing areas. The long blooming period (June to October in northern latitudes) compensates for its lack of fragrance.
Distribution:
Comoros, Madagascar
References:
Botanical Register; consisting of coloured . . . 10: t. 817. 1824. Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Hawkes, A. (1965) 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. Hillerman, F. and A. Holst. 1986. An introduction to the cultivated Angraecoid orchids of Madagascar. Timber Press, Portland, Ore. WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 21.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Photos/drawings:
Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. (Color photo of flower) Hillerman, F. and A. Holst. 1986. An introduction to the cultivated Angraecoid orchids of Madagascar. Timber Press, Portland, Ore. (Color photo & drawing of flower)
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

In culture In culture In culture In culture In culture In culture
Aeranthes grandiflora 01 Aeranthes grandiflora 02 Aeranthes grandiflora 03 Aeranthes grandiflora 04 Aeranthes grandiflora 05 Aeranthes grandiflora 06
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. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.