Angraecum sesquipedale Thours 1822 SECTION Angraecum Photo courtesy of Jay Pfahl

Flower Size To 7" [to 16.5 cm] Spur to 14" [to 35 cm]

Common Name Comet Orchid

This is a large sized, hot growing species from the island of Madagascar that has 1 to 6 fragrant blooms in the winter on shorter than the leaves, 12" [30 cm] long, bracteate, axillary inflorescence and is found at altitudes of 100 meters or less on sloping tree trunks and crotches of trees near the seashore and it is consistantly warm and has abundant rainfall year round that produce large, waxy, long-lived, fragrant flowers through the winter and is an evergreen epiphyte that needs even water and fertilizer and thrives if given ample air circulation. It has the common name of the 'Comet Orchid'. It has rarely straight, many leafed stems with distichous, ligulate, coriaceous, unequally bilobed apically leaves. This species was made famous by Charles Darwin's prediction that there would be a pollinator aout there that could reach to the bottom of the extremely long spur in the back of the flower. His prediction cam e true with the discovery of a long-tongued hawk moth, Xanthopan morganii praedicta Photo by Tony Watkinson, years later.

Synonyms Aeranthes sesquipedalis[Thou]Lindley 1824; Aeranthus sesquipedalis[Thou]Lindley; Angorchis sesquipedale [Thou]O.Ktze. 1891; Angraecum bosseri Senghas 1973; Angraecum sesquipedale var. angustifolium Bosser & Morat 1972; Macroplectrum sesquipedale [Thou]Rolfe; Macroplectrum sesquipedale[Thou.] Pfitz. 1889; Mystacidium sesquipedale Rolfe 1904

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Historie Particulier des Plantes Orchidees Recueilles Sur Trois Iles Australes d'Afrique Thouars 1822 drawing fide; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 photo fide; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 as Macroplectrum sesquipedale drawing fide; Flora Of Madagascar Perrier 1939/1981; AOS Bulletin Vol 26 No 2 1957; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 10 1958 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 4 1959; AOS Bulletin Vol 33 No 3 1964; AOS Bulletin Vol 33 No 5 1964 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 39 No 4 1970 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 39 No 11 1970 drawing; Orchid Digest No 38 No 2 1974 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 47 No 9 1978 photo; Orquideologia Vol 14 No 1 1979 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 49 No 10 1980 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 50 No 9 1981 photo; Orchid Digest Vol 46 No 3 1982 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 52 No 9 1983 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 53 No 7 1984 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 2 1985 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 55 No 2 1986 photo; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas # 48-49 Vandeae 1986 drawing/ photo fide; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas # 48-49 Vandeae 1986 as A bosseri photo fide; Manual of Cultivated Orchids Bechtel, Cribb, Laurent 1992; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchds Pridgeon 1992; Orchid Digest Vol 57 No 2 1993 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 58 No 2 1994 photo fide; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1995; Encylopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 drawing fide; Flora's Orchids Nash and La Croix 2005; Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids Of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986; Simon & Schuster's Guide to Orchids Fanfani & Rossi 1988; AOS Bulletin Vol 68 No 5 1999 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 71 No 5 2002 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 72 No 9 2003 photo; Boletim CAOB #52 2003; Botanica's Orchids Laurel Glen 2004; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 1 2006 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 5 2006 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 77 No 12 2006 photo; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, Campbell 2006; Australian Orchid Review Vol 72 No 6 12/07-1/08; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007 photo fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009 photo fide

Angraecum sesquipedale var. angustifolium Bosser & Morat 1972

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009 photo fide

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