AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aeranthes filipes Schltr., Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille, III, 1: 185 (1913).
Description:
Plants with a short thin stem (5-6 mm. in diameter), bearing 6-7 linear (20-25 x l.8-2.4 cm.) leaves. Inflorescences pendent, filiform, generally 20 cm. long; peduncle with 2-3 distant sheaths and 1-2 flowers; bracts acuminate, very small, obviously shorter than the basal articulation of the pedicel; flowers very large, variable in size. Sepals oval-acuminate, the acumin equaling about a third of the total length and 7 veined, the median 2 cm. long, the laterals longer (23 mm.) and heavily dilate toward the outer margins. Petals elliptical, very acuminate, 5 veined and 17 mm long. Labellum widely oval (1.8 x 1.2 cm.), cordate basal and acuminate aipically. Foot very long, elongated in a straight spur, 10 mm long, obtuse and sometimes enlarged-clavate apically. Pedicel thin 2,2 cm. long. Capsule obviously curved, abruptly attenuate to the base, cylindrical lengthwise, with the dorsal angles and band-like structures equal.
Habitat:
Aeranthes filipes is an epiphyte, perching in trees along streams. It grows at an altitude of around 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) in central Madagascar, where it is endemic. It has been collected in the Manongarivo Massif, where it flowers in March.
Cultivation:
This species should be grown in the same manner as most aeranthes, i.e., potted (3- inch pot size) or mounted (3 X 8 inch slab size), intermediate conditions, and lower than average levels of light. However, this plant tolerates 2,500 footcandles with no ill effects.
Notes:
This is another semi-"mini" species well suited to culture under lights or in small "orchid-growing spaces." It is a frequent bloomer, although notoften with many flowers at one time-just one now and then over 5 or 6 months of the year. As with other aeranthes species, the green, elfin-like flowers are bewitching.
Distribution:
N. Madagascar. Endemic.
References:
Flora Of Madagascar Perrier 1938/85; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 21.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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In culture
Aeranthes filipes 01
Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission.