AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aeranthes ecalcarata H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 7: 40 (1938).
Description:
Epiphytes 10-18 cm. tall, stem absent or to about 3 cm long, emitting numerous offshoots; sheaths blackish finely veined, leaves 4-6, thin, graminiform, linear (6-12 cm. x l - l,5 mm.). Inflorescence filiform, 1-3 flowered. from the base of the stem; peduncle 4-8 cm. long, bearing 3-4 distant very small sheaths; rachis sinuate; brats very small (1,.2 mm.); flowers white, distant. Sepals oval-lanceolate (4 x 2- 2,2 mm,), similar, acute and 3 veined. Petals oval (3 x 1,.5 mm.), obtusely acuminate. Labellum very small (1.8 x 1,.3 mm.) nearly square thick, auriculate basally, shortly acuminate-obtuse; spur very small (a slight 0.2 mm.), reduced to a small obtuse pit. Column almost entirely resupinate, foot very large and of an elliptical contour (1,8 x 1,2 mm.): rostellum in 2 large lobes, truncate and crenulate apically. Pedicel 2 mm. long at least.
Habitat:
Aeranthes ecalarata grows at an altitude of around 1,400 meters (4,590 feet) on Montagne d'Ambre in northern Madagascar.
Cultivation:
Grow on slabs with frequent misting, in 500 to a maximum of 2,000 footcandles of light, and under intermediate greenhouse conditions.
Notes:
This plant tends to form a "dump," by branching freely at the base, resulting in a dozen or so "leads." The little species should make a charming addition to a mini or window-sill collection. The flowers resemble those of a very miniature Aerantlies grandiflora. Although not yet tried potted, it would probably grow well with that type of culture, as most aeranthes do. Some effort should be made to get this little gem into flask, since it has been so rarely imported.
Distribution:
N. Madagascar.Endemic.
References:
Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1938/81; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, 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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Aeranthes ecalcarata 01 Aeranthes ecalcarata 02 Aeranthes ecalcarata 01
Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission.