Angraecums

Angraecums
Angraecum Longidale

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Angraecum leonis

     Angraecum leonis, "lion like" or the "lion's head".  No matter which version you grow (Madagascar / Comoro Islands); you should have a beautiful specimen plant in about 3 - 4 years.  Angcm. leonis is an easy Angraecum to grow.    


Angraecum leonis (Comoro Islands)

     Angraecum leonis grows in two very distinct areas.  One hails from the northern tip of Madagascar at about sea level.  The plant is the smaller version of the two; growing in an area that is somewhat dry.  The second comes from Comoro Islands.  It is epiphytic growing at an altitude of about 3,000 feet (900 meters) and is in an area with a heavy annual rainfall (the main reason for its larger size).

     The Madagascar version is the smaller of the two.  It will do well in either a sub-tropical climate or a cooler climate that sees cooler to cold winters; as long as the plant is kept in a room with temperatures not dropping below 65 degrees.  It should be very near a north facing window (again watching the temperature range during the winter).  The leaves can burn rather easily; keep it out of any window that will get direct sunlight for more than an hour.  It is very capable of flowering in either a bright or medium shade.
     The flowers are about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches (3-4cm) wide by 1 1/2 - 2 inches (4-5cm) high with a nectary or spur of about 3 inches (8cm) long.  They can last up to 4 weeks, they are fragrant and usually bloom mid April into late May.  Flowers will open with a slightly green cast but turn a pristine white within 2 - 3 days. 
     In either climate, the plant will do well as long as it is watered regularly during warmer months and less during its dry season (winter in the northern hemisphere).  There is little if any stem to the plant with the leaves being 4 - 6 inches (10-15cm) long, sickle shaped and very fleshy.  In culture, this version of Angcm. leonis will very seldom reach a width of more than 8 inches (20cm).
     Angcm. leonis can be mounted to a cork or tree fir slab and also be potted in a 5 inch pot with a medium sized perlite, aliflore, charcoal and tree fern combination.  Remember, back off the watering during the dry period in winter.  The plant will show signs of lack of water if you notice the leaves starting to shrivel or wrinkle; just increase the watering amount and everything should return to normal shortly.


Angraecum leonis (Comoro Islands)

     Unlike the Angcm. leonis from Madagascar, the Comoro Islands version can have a stem of up to 4 inches high (10cm); however you will usually only see that in very mature plants.  Leaves of this larger version can reach 8 1/2 inches (22cm) with an over-all width of the plant being close to 16 inches (40cm).  Leaves are sickle shape but not near as fleshy as the Madagascar version.  Angcm. leonis is exposed to a much heavier rain fall total in the Comoro Islands and does not need to store the moisture.  If the plant is potted, be careful not to over water the roots.  Root rot can develop during the summer months if watered to often.  If the plant is mounted, be sure to water frequently during the summer months to keep the plant hydrated.  Misting in mid-afternoon heat can be very helpful.
     Flowers from the larger version measure 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 inches (6-9cm) wide and are a little higher than 3 inches (8cm) tall.  They will often bloom in succession rather than all at once.  They are very fragrant and can last about 4 weeks if kept out of the stronger weather elements.
     I treat either version of Angcm. leonis with a systemic fungicide every 28 - 30 days.  Fertilizing every 7 - 10 days. 
     Angraecum leonis will appear to be a slow grower at first; but once it starts to become a specimen plant it will develop very well.  As with MOST Angraecums, it is best not to mess with the roots or take cuttings to share.  The plant can stop blooming for several years.  If repotting is absolutely necessary, then repot when new roots are starting to grow.  This will help the plant re-establish itself quicker.

11 comments:

  1. I've got the larger Comoro Islands variety, and have been searching for the smaller N. Madagascan variety. Trouble is, most growers I've written don't know which one they have! And when they send pictures, it's hard for me to tell if I'm looking at a young Comoro, or the smaller Madagascan variety. Do you know of any sources that show pictures of both for a comparison? Most of the images I find are of flowers only, not the plant itself, which makes identification of one versus the other impossible for me.

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  3. Beth, It is not easy to distinguish the two versions while they are seedlings. It is not until the leaves grow in access of 4 inches that you can identify the variety from the Comoro Islands (larger variety of the two plants). You should have no problem once the plants flower. The Madagaascar version will have a flower that is barely two inches high while the Comoro Island variety has a flower that can be up to 3 1/2 inches high. The nectary or spur on the Comoro variety will very often have the shape of the letter "S" while the smaller version from Madagascar have a spur that curves back away from the flower and then curves forward with the tip still pointing forward. On mature plants, the Madagascar variety will be about 7 - 8 inches wide with very fleshy leaves; the Comoro Island variety being 12 - 16 inches wide with leaves that are not as thick. Google images has a large variety of pictures available that will give you a better idea as to comparisons (it will take a little experience). But that will come in time. I will send you a list of growers that I have used on occassion for plants. That may help. Look for it later today or tomorrow. Hope I was of some help.

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  4. A lot of help, thank you. I've scouted online from Hawaii to Florida and in between and no one seems to be growing the smaller variety. I found a couple in England, but for now that's out of even my orchid-mania range. I'd gladly take some advice, if you have it, on the Comoro that I have. It arrived with slightly wrinkled leaves from Hawaii on August 15th, and is more wrinkled now. It's in a net pot, very coarse media - bark, chunky perlite. I've got a fine mist humidifier that I use during the day when it's under cfl lights with my other orchids. It's hard to see the roots inside the pot, but of the ones hanging from the pot a good percentage are brown instead of green. How much water is enough, and how much is too much? Most of my experience is with orchids that will rot if overwatered, so I'm admittedly leery of over doing it. I posted a less than crisp picture of it here... http://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/61919-angraecum-leonis-wrinkled-leaves.html That top left leaf and a couple others are noticeably more wrinkled today than 4 days ago. I appreciate any input. I'm a huge fan of angraecums, and hope to do right by this one.

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  5. Beth, Being on a never ending quest to locate the Angraecum leonis (Madagascar variety) may have paid off BIG TIME! I have had several in my hands in the lst few days and am expecting several more very soon. Once confirmed, I'll be happy to share that most valuble information with you! As they say in Jamaica, "soon come mon"! I crack myself up!

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  6. Hi there! Happy to have found this blog. I bought a Leonis, Madagascar variety, about 2 months ago, and have not been able to find much info on it at all. I just took it out of the 2 1/2 inch plastic pot it came in, and found the media it was in had almost completely decomposed..
    But, my MAIN question here is about the roots. What does a good root system look like? Mine are tan/light brown. They are all still rather plump, I did find a few dead, papery feeling ones that I removed, but.
    I soaked the roots for about 10 minutes to see if they would change color (are healthy Leonis roots green?) and there was no change. Any help and/or tips I will happily accept!
    Thank you!

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  7. Hi there! Happy to have found this blog. I bought a Leonis, Madagascar variety, about 2 months ago, and have not been able to find much info on it at all. I just took it out of the 2 1/2 inch plastic pot it came in, and found the media it was in had almost completely decomposed..
    But, my MAIN question here is about the roots. What does a good root system look like? Mine are tan/light brown. They are all still rather plump, I did find a few dead, papery feeling ones that I removed, but.
    I soaked the roots for about 10 minutes to see if they would change color (are healthy Leonis roots green?) and there was no change. Any help and/or tips I will happily accept!
    Thank you!

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    1. Most roots that grow in media are a light tan or whitish color because they are not exposed to light, but if they are exposed to light, they may eventually turn green. Good roots are usually plump and firm. Color doesn't matter too much due to varying growing conditions (mounted/potted).

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  8. I have had good luck germinating the seeds by spreading the mature seeds over the roots of my angreecum leonis and media and keeping them moist but not wet. in a few months you might see some growing protocorms.....good luck!

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  10. I have an Angrecum leonis that has not been repotted in years, it has never bloomed or put out aerial roots. The leaves are well hydrated and it has put out a new leaf. I grow in a greenhouse, would it be best to mount it or repot it? I want to make it happy so it will bloom. I want to grow more of the Angrecoids and Aerangis, they suit my light levels and my conditions but hestitate until I get their culture better in hand. I am in the upper south.

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