Angraecum leonis

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Issues With Leaving Comments

     It has been brought to my attention that a couple of members have had some issues while trying to leave a comment.  If anyone wishes to leave a comment and is redirected trying to publish after being signed in through your Google membership; please try again, choose Anonymous and then click on the publish key.  If you do have to make the comment in this fashion, put your initials at the end of your comment so that I have some idea who is leaving it (you don't have to if you don't want to), it gives me a better idea who to address any response to.  I am trying to resolve this issue and I'll keep everyone updated.  Thank you for your patience!  TomK10

Friday, February 24, 2012

Aerangis articulata

     Aerangis articulata, the Latin word meaning "jointed".  This plant was formerly known as Angraecum articulatum and Angraecum descendens in the early 1900s.  My thought on the bottom line however, is that it is one of the most showy angreacoids you can have in a collection.
     A. articulata has grown in my collection in the deepest shady part of my arbor for well over four years.  It gets no direct sunlight at all; spackled or otherwise.  As you can see in the image below, it is mounted.  This plant is watered daily almost 8 months out of the year.  Watering is cut back to 2 - 3 times a week (depending on seasonal temperature) from early November into early March.

Aerangis articulata

     In it's natural environment, A. articulata grows on tree trunks that are usually close to moving water.  It also does well at higher elevations were it is effected by the constant mountian mist.  This is the reason the plant thrives on the large amount of water that I give it.  The slight hanging from the mount allows me to water the entire plant and not have to worry about stem rot.  The excess water just runs off and away from the stem.
     The root system grows throughout the warmer months and will slow down and often stop growing after the blooms fall off.  This period can last up to 3 months.  Keep in mind that it is in the Angreacum Alliance; so don't cut any of the roots at any time.  Once a root has completely dried out and is dead, you can cut it then.
     I fertilize the plant once every week with a normal dose of a balanced fertilizer.  As far as a fungicide, the entire plant is sprayed with a systemic fungicide every four weeks.  It is exposed to more moisture than some of the other Angreacums and is more susceptible to fungus and bacteria.
     A. articulata will flower between the months of March and August here in the states.  Usually April in the sub tropical conditions in South Florida.  The inflorescence can take up to 7 - 8 months to develop before any buds appear and will be about 8 inches long.  They appear below the leaves at the axil of old leaf sheaths.  Each inflorescence can contain up to 24 pristine white flowers that are about 2 inches wide and tall with a spur of about 5 - 6 inches.

Aerangis articulata

     As buds start to develop on the inflorescence, you will notice them at every bract or "joint".  They all grow at about the same speed.  They are at alternating positions on the inflorescence and develop standing up so that the spur drops down properly.  The flowers will open at just about the same time (usually within a 24 - 48 hours span) with the flowers starting at the tip (being slightly larger) than the flowers opening at the base of the inflorescence which are slightly smaller.
     As you can see, the A. articulata is an extremely beautiful plant.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Angcm. Lemforde White Beauty

     We have a King (Angcm. sesquipedale) and we have a Queen (Angcm. magdalenae).  And what that produces is Angraecum Lemforde White Beauty.  A remarkable hybrid that very much resembles the Queen (although slightly larger).

Angcraecum Lemforde White Beauty

     Two very different Angraecums in size, basic shape and most of all the environments from which they grow.  But their offspring pictured above is one of the most sought after Angraecum hybrids to date. 
     The flower from a sesquipedale can be up to 9 inches across.  The magdalenae will produce a flower about 4 inches across.  The Beauty will average 5 - 6 inches across; so it's picked up a little size from the sesquipedale.  The spur or nectary is about 2 inches longer in the Lemforde White Beauty than it is in the magdalenae; another attribute that it gets from sesquipedale.
     The basic shape of the flower is very similar to magdalenae.  The sepals are broader closer to the pedicel as are the petals.  The lip is not near as long as the sesquipedale but it is much wider resembling the magdalenae.  Another prominent feature that has carried over from sesquipedale is the retraction of the petals (they can retract almost 90 degrees).
     The environments in which the parents of this hybrid come from are two totally different ends of the spectrum.  Angcm. sesquipedale grows on the edge of forests at about 300 feet above sea level on the lower and thicker trunks of trees in a tropical condition.  Growing best in nature in bright shade or a bright diffused light.  Angcm. magdalenae grows at 5,600 - 6,500 feet above sea level as a semi-terrestrial (also considered a lithophyte plant that establishes itself in several inches of leaf debris and dead vegatation that has gathered between large rocks of the mountain they're found on.
     With the sesquipedale growing in a tropical condition, it its well suited for the weather here in South Florida.  It will continue to grow and develop 12 months a year.  Angcm. magdalenae grows at a much higher altitude and has it's growing season cut back 4 - 5 months when it is drier and much cooler.  The plants don't grow as big as the sesquipedale does.  Even in the summer months, temperatures do drop and it is the daytime heated rocks that help the magdalenae.  What I am getting at is the fact that the sesquipedale originating in tropical conditions allows the Lemforde White Beauty to grow so well here in South Florida.  While you may have a every difficult time trying to get an Angcm. magdalenae  to bloom here.  Our sub tropical climate is no comparison to the mountain regions the Queen grows in.
     Angraecum Lemforde White Beauty will grow very similar to Angraecum sesquipedale.  However, you can put the plant in a smaller pot (6" shallow) because it will not grow much higher than 10 -14 inches.  It will also accept a larger amount of brighter light.  My plants here is South Florida get direct sun light until about noon.  After that, they get spackled light the remainder of the day.  In the cooler north part of the country, the plant will do fantastic in a north facing window.  Back off on watering the plant in winter months to about once a week to every 10 days.  When the temps start coming back up, move the plant outdoors under an eave overhang and leave it out there until night time temps start hovering around 50 degrees.  Angraecum Lemforde White Beauty will bloom and look radiant with it's pristine white flowers anywhere from mid May to late July; that really depends on what part of the country its growing in.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Angraecum sesquipedale

Angraecum sesquipedale

     The Latin interpretation of Angcm. sesquipedale is "measuring a foot and a half" (referring to the length of the flower from the tip of the dorsal sepal to the bottom of the nectary or spur as it is often referred to).  It is also referred to as the King of Angraecums. 
     It is from the east coast of Madagascar and grows on the trunk of trees (epiphyte) in slight shade or diffused light.  The plant can exceed 4 - 5 feet in the wild and will often grow in clumps.  Very seldom though will it grow that high in culture.
     One VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: this angraecum, along with so many others in the genera do not take kindly to having their roots messed with.  It is not uncommon for the plant NOT TO BLOOM for several years if the roots are disturbed (especially during re potting).  I highly recommend that when potting or placing in a basket that you use something at least 8 - 10 inches wide to start (even a seedling that may be only 4 - 6 inches high).  The sesquipedale has no dormant time, it grows year round.  The plant will eventually grow into whatever you may have place it in.  The media that I use is a combination of coconut husk, perlite or alifore, charcoal and pieces of tree fir.  Bark breaks down to rapidly here in So. Fla. and can cause problems within a year or two.  I also put some weight in the bottom of the container to try and prevent the wind from blowing the plant over and possibly snapping the stem.
     From mid May until mid November, I water the plants that are in pots or baskets at least twice a week.  Three times when the temps start hovering and exceeding the 90s.  In cooler months, I water no less than once a week.  I fertilize every 7 - 10 days and keep about a tablespoon of dynamite in the pots and baskets so that the plant is fed a minimal amount through each watering.  About once every 4 -6 weeks I will spray the plants with a systemic fungicide (particularly the bottom of the leaves).  I do keep a topical fungicide on hand always.
     The sesquipedale will bloom at any time from late November into early February.

Angraecums: Why I Started

I have used orchids as subjects for both my photography and for my digital paintings for well over twenty years.  About twelve years ago, I purchased an orchid in a plastic bag while spending time in a Home Depot.  That orchid was an Angraecum Longiscott grown by the Sun Bulb Company.  The main reason; the photo of the flower was not your typical orchid.  It appeared to be upside down with a tail.  Little did I know then that the world of Angraecums would come crashing down on me.  Throughout the last twelve years, I've researched, experimented with and grown countless Angraecums to create some of the most popular art work I've created to date.  This blog has been created so that I can pass on the information and cultures for these amazing plants.  Please feel free to post comments, questions and even photos.  Lets all learn and grow together!

Angraecum Longiscott