AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aeranthes albidiflora Toill.-Gen., Ursch & Bosser in Adansonia 16(1—2): 205 (1960).
Description:
Plant with a very short stem. Leaves 6 or 7 in 2 rows, ligulate, contracted towards the base, unequally and obtusely bilobed at the apex, 17-20 cm long, 1.4-1.6 cm wide. Inflorescence slender, pendent, 30 cm long, single-flowered; peduncle with 7-10 sheaths, shorter than the internodes. Flowers white, thin and transparent, sepals and petals reflexed; dorsal sepal oval lanceolate, long acuminate, 26-28 mm long, 6-7 mm wide near the base; lateral sepals similar but expanded on the front margin at the base, 29-30 mm long, 10 mm wide; petals shorter than sepals, long acuminate above the base, 16-17 mm long, 7 mm wide; lip broadly obovate, shortly apiculate (6-7 mm), 27-24 mm long, 14-15 mm wide; column foot broadly boat-shaped, 9-10 mm long; spur curving forwards below the lip, wide at the mouth, clavate at the apex, 12-13 mm long.
Habitat:
Epiphyte in shady forest; near sea level; flowering in February to May.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, hot to warm growing epiphyte.
Notes:
Similar to Aeranthes sambiranoensis Schlechter, but easily distinguished from it by its pendent, one-flowered inflorescence, slender peduncle, larger, differently shaped lip, shorter, highly incurved spur, thickened at the tip.
Distribution:
Eastern Madagascar.
References:
An Introduction to the Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986; 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. 20.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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