Aeranthes caudata Rolfe, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1901: 149 (1901).
Aeranthes imerinensis H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 7: 44 (1938).
Acaulis plants, leaves 6. Sub distichous, very soft, widely lingulate (20-25 x 2.2-2.5 cm), bilobed apically, lobes obtuse and very unequal. Inflorescences simple. Pendent, 1-4 flowered, peduncle filiform, 3 30 cm long, sheaths narrow, to-12 mm long, acute, distant and with 7-9 projecting veins; bracts narrow, very caduceos, longer than the pedicel; pedicel articulate to the ovary, twice as thick as the peduncle; flowers greenish large. Median sepal enlarged marginally is an oval-lanceolate lamina (15 x 10 mm), then totally very longly (4-5 cm) elongated in a linear point; lateral sepals adnate to the foot basally, slightly enlarged anteriorly above, elongated as is the median, but slightly longer. Petals as in the median sepal but smaller (3.4-4 cm x 7-8 mm). Labellum widely (17 mm) rhomboidal, subcordate and widely unguiculate basally, shortly (10-12 mm) acuminate apically: spur cylindrical, 8-9 mm long. Foot very wide (7- 10 mm), almost orbicular very concave and 7-9 veined. Anther oval, large (3.5 x 2 mm) excised in front, pollina oval, bandeletts with wide margins and provided with a small lobule which is inserted into a pit on the retraced caudicel, then attenuate to the glands. Column thick (4 x 3 mm), auricles triangular-acute, obliquely incurved, median tooth very short and obtuse. Pedicel 10-12 mm long.
This orchid is widespread in the central highlands and in the north. Distribution extends to the Comoro Islands where plants have been found on Grande Comore. Plants grow as epiphytes in deep shade in humid, evergreen forest. They are found on trunks and branches of trees that often are covered with mosses and leafy liverworts at 2300-4900 ft. (700-1500 m).
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If the grower likes green flowers, this species will make his wildest dreams come true. The plant is quite subdued in space requirements and old plants will seldom, if ever, outgrow a 5-inch pot. Flowering usually occurs from August through October in our clime.
Aeranthes caudata and Aeranthes grandiflora are very difficult to differentiate on the basis of growth habit. However, the inflorescence of Aeranthes grandiflora is well covered with bracts, whereas that of Aeranthes caudata is only about half-covered between each node on the peduncle.
Du Puy, D., P. Cribb, J. Bosser, J. & C. Hermans. 1999. The Orchids of Madagascar. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, England. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Kew Data Base. 2014. http.//apps.kew.org/wcsp/home.do Stewart, J., J. Hermans, and B. Campbell. 2006, Angraecoid Orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR.; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 21.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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