Angraecum leonis

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Angcm. magdalenae & Her Hybrids

     With some reluctance, I've decided to publish this post in its unfinished state.  The main reason is the lack of information I've been able to gather or should I say NOT gather.  It has been a very slow process and I know that their are numerous readers that have been waiting for this post.  I will continue to add to it over the next several weeks or months for that matter as I gather more information.  I am sorry to say that its beginning is rather bleak.
     As I had stated in a post made on the tkangraecums page in facebook; one of the first readers of the blog asked a very simple question.  They knew of two hybrids (Angcm. Lemforde White Beauty and Angranthes Grandalena) created from Angcm. magdalenae but wanted to know if there were any others available.  Before I answer that question, let me say that the reader is very passionate about the species Angcm. magdalenae; as well she should be.  She presently has three Angcm. magdalenae and two Angraecum Lemforde White Beauties.  Many botanists consider the species near extinct while a few do use the word extinction.  It is hobbyists like this reader and myself and so many others; along with some growers that are trying to keep the species alive by growing them in their private collections.  It would be a shame to sit back and watch as one of the most beautiful Angraecums disappears into oblivion.

Angraecum Lemforde White Beauty
(Angcm. magdalenae x Angcm. sesquipedale)
(Lemforder Orchids - Originator, Registered 1984)

     Now, the answer to that question is that there are twenty registered hybrids.  I am not using the word available.  The first registered hybrid using Angcm. magdalenae as one of the parents was in 1975 (about thirty eight years ago).  That was a cross between Angcm. magdalenae (seed parent) and Aeranthes ramosa (pollen parent).  The plant produced was registered as Angranthes Lomarlynn.  This hybrid would also be the first to run into a brick wall as far as gathering any information.  I have found nothing about it anywhere other than the registered name and the originator (R. Ciesinski).
     Again, I am not going to use the word available or availability; I will use the phrase NOT AVAILABLE (n/a).  After thinking about the lack of information, I started coming to the conclusion that the hybrid(s) were no longer available because they may have sold out to quickly and then it hit me.  The possibility of the originator, registrant and/or grower not wanting to continue the hybrid.  I have talked to several growers about this and they all but confirmed the probability of the hybrid(s) just fading away.  Their consensus is the following.
     Many growers that do specialize in hybridizing orchids spend years trying to improve certain plants.  Bigger flowers, flowers that last longer, grow faster and are a sell able asset.  It takes time, money and space to eventually produce a hybrid that is profitable.  If any of these criteria fail, the hybrid will usually just be discontinued and eventually fade away.  Their thought of what may have happened to the Angcm. magdalenae hybrids is that they weren't showy enough, that they grew too slow which prevented a profitable product and at the time, Angraecums were no where near the top of any one's list to take the time to grow.  On the other hand, Fred Hillerman, who had his hands in the creation of seven Angcm. magdalenae hybrids may have decided that their results were not what he was expecting.  Keep in mind that he was the forerunner went it came to many Angraecoids.
     Of the seven hybrids that Fred Hillerman created using Angcm. magdalenae as one of the parents, four of them seem to have faded away.  I have been unable to locate any information regarding Angcm. Eburlena, Angcm. Cuculena, Angcm. Longilena and Angcm. Ruffels (which is/was an Angcm. Eburlena x Angcm. magdalenae) other than the parentage and the dates the hybrid was registered.  Two of the hybrids have been awarded; with Angranthes Grandalena (Aeranthes grandiflora x Angcm. magdalenae) receiving 7 HCC/AOS awards and 1 AM/AOS award and Angcm. Stephanie (Angcm. Veitchii x Angcm. magdalenae) receiving 1 HCC/AOS award and an AM/AOS award.  Let me point out that neither hybrid has been awarded anything in the last 23 plus years.  The last of Fred Hillerman's hybrids is Angcm. Superlena, although it has never been awarded, there are several in hobbyist's collections.

Angranthes Grandalena
(Aeranthes grandiflora x Angcm. magdalenae)
(Fred Hillerman - Originator, Registered 1978)
     The following list contains the hybrid name, seed parent, pollen parent, originator and the year that the hybrid was officially registered.  They are listed chronologically by date.
Angth. Lomarlynn - Angcm. magdalenae X Aerth. ramosa - R. Ciesinski - 1975
Angcm. Lady Lisa - Angcm. scottianum X Angcm. magdalenae - R. Elsner - 1977
Angth. Grandalena - Aerth. grandiflora X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 1978
Angcm. Stephanie - Angcm. Veitchii X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 1982
Angcm. Superlena - Angcm. superbum X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 1983
Angcm. Lemforde White Beauty - Angcm. magdalenae X Angcm. sesquipedale - Lemforder - 1984
Angcm. Eburlena - Angcm. eburneum X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 1984
Angcm. Vigulena - Angcm. magdalenae X Angcm. viguieri - R. Ciesinski - 1987
Angcm. Crystal Star - Angcm. rutenbergianum X Angcm. magdalenae - D. Pulley - 1989
Angcm. Cuculena - Angcm. cucullatuim X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 1989
Angcm. White Emblem - Angcm. didieri X Angcm. magdalenae - T. Matsuda - 1991
Angcm. Amazing Grace - Angcm. florulentum X Angcm. magdalenae - T. Takimoto - 1993
Angth. Longilena - Aerth. longipes X Angcm. magdalenae - Great Lakes - 1997
Angth. Etoile Filante - Aerth. neoperrieri X Angcm. magdalenae - M. & M.F. Bourdon - 2001
Angcm. Longilena - Angcm. longicalcar X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 2004
Angcm. Sorodale - Angcm. sororium X Angcm. magdalenae - unknown - 2005 (reg. RHS)
Angcm. Ruffels - Angcm. Eburlena X Angcm. magdalenae - F. Hillerman - 2006
Eugcm. Wallnet Valley - Eugcm. Lydia X Angcm. magdalenae - unknown - 2006 (reg. Rinke)
Angcm. Cloud's Christmas Cradle - Angcm. Lmf. Wht. Beauty X Angcm. magdalenae - Rossi - 2007
Paraphalraecum Memoria Barbara Oviatt - Angcm. magdalenae X Paraphalaenopsis Kolopaking -
     R. Ciesinski - 2011
     This list makes up all of the registered hybrids in which Angcm. magdalenae was used as one of the parents.  I am currently working on gathering information regarding their availability.  I will say that several have faded away for now.  I will post again in a few days. 
     Thank you everyone for being so patient!    
In a few days, I'll make additional comments regarding this entry.  Lets call it a "serial post".


  1. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your article about Angcm. Magdalenae. It is one of my favorite orchids. I currently have about 25 seedlings of Angcm. Magdalenae growing in compots.

    Regarding Angcm. Magdalenae hybrids, in your research, did you come across any hybrids with Angraecum eburneum?


    Chris (crjsci1)

  2. Hello Chris,
    Actually there is... the seed parent was Angcm. eburneum x pollen parent being Angcm. magdallenae, the hybrid Angcm. Eburlena was registered in 1984. Then the hybrid Angcm. Eburlena was used as the seed parent and it was crossed with the pollen parent Angcm. magdalenae. This hybrid is called Angcm. Ruffels and was registered in 2006. Unfortunately,I have not found any of the hybrids anywhere. Then again, I'm not one to give up... at all! Hope that answers your question.


  3. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the information. I looked in my copy of Fred Hillerman's book and see that in Appendix III he gives a summary of Agraecoid Hybrids. In addition to Eburlena, he also lists Angcm. Superlena: Angcm. superbum x magdalenae, Angcm. Stephanie - Veitchii x magdalenae, Angranthes Grandelena - Aeranthes grandiflora x magdalenae, Angcm. Lady Lisa - Angcm. scottianum x magdalenae, Angranthes Lomarlyn - Aeranthes ramosa x magdalenae as other hybrids with Ancgm. magdalaenae (as of 1986 when his book was published).

    I have an Angranthes Grandelena, but have not seen any of the others available to purchase. I would especially like to get an Eburlena and Superlena. I would be very interested to hear if any knows of a source for any of the above hybrids.



  4. Chris,
    There have been 13 more hybrids registered since Fred's book was published. Of those 13, I have found only 5 in hobbyist's and grower's collections. 8 of the 13 seem to have faded away completely. In another day or two, I will be posting the entire list of hybrids along with their registration dates and the originators of the hybrid. Several growers that I talked to seem to think that the profit margins were not feasible to continue the hybrid.

    You may be able to help me, need to find a grower that has Angranthes Grandlena available. Will chat with you soon.

    Tom K

  5. Hi Tom,

    I purchased my Angcm Grandelena from Orchidweb. I just looked at their website, but didn't see it listed. I would recommend that you contact the owner, Jerry, and see if he can get some in.

    BTW, I am going to try and remake Angcm. Eburlena. I'll let you know if I have any luck.



  6. Chris,

    I attended the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Show this weekend and had the opportunity to talk to a grower that knows first hand as to what really happened to the majority of Fred Hillerman's hybrids. He was actually one of those involved. It is something that I plan on posting but will do it without throwing names out there. It is truly a very sad outcome.

    Thanks for the info on the Grandalena. Also, keep a good documentation on your progress regarding the Eburlena. It would make a great guest post. Will talk to you soon.


  7. It's good to see someone trying to track these down! I know Hoosier got most of Fred Hillerman's breeding stock, but what happened with Hoosier closed isn't so sure. A couple of potential sources for magdalenae hybrids:

    Eric Michel orchids: Eric might have bought some of Hoosier's crosses.

    Leon Glicenstein: was the main hybridizer at Hoosier and did some fabulous crosses, you can contact him through AOS.

    Charles Marden Fitch mentions a couple of angraecum hybrids in his BBG handbook on orchids, I'm pretty sure he's still affiliated with the AOS Northeast judging center.

    Hope to see more remakes of some of these!



  8. Hi Tom, I just started looking on line to see if I could find any of my Father, Fred Hillermans hybrids for sale. Was looking for his Angcm. Stephanie (My sister)whos son has taken an interest in growing orchids. It is very sad to find out that Dads hybrids are no longer avalible. I remember he would tell me that a lot of the other growers who where in buisness didn,t like how low his pricing was and I asked him why he did not up the price? He said to me," Because honey,I just don't want wealthy people to be able to afford these magnificent flowers, I want all the first time growers to have access to them"! What a shame, all those hour he spent hybridizing and waiting years to see how it would turn out.
    Thanks for trying to keep his hybrids going,


    PS I'm going to start digging through Dads old orchid stuff

  9. Hello Lisa,
    Thank you for your comment on the blog. It does mean a lot to me. Your dad's work may have seemed to fade by the way-side in some cases but I am finding readers that are willing, looking into and actually starting to re-establish a couple of his crosses. It was your dad's book that took me beyond the one Angraecum I started with and now concentrate on. I have and will continue to concentrate on Angraecums and have been fortunate to have made contacts not only here in the states but Europe. Some of these contacts are helping me track down several mature and established plants that may still exist in a private collection or two. My email address is . Please feel free to contact me regarding anything dealing with your dad and his work. I would very much like to do a post about his work and talking to you would be so much more than just talking about his book. Hoping to hear from you; and again, thank you!


  10. Hi Tom,
    I have been looking through the few things Dad had keep on his orchids and I do have some questions.
    I did not realise how much of a inspiration Dad was. I was young, last of 8 children and always had to water his plants when he went speaking or to Madagasgar, not fun when you are a teenager...

    I will e-mail you



  11. My uncle (an orchid grower of great passion and few words) recently passed away and (amongst others) I have been blessed with over 200 Awkids. One of them is angcm longiscott "hihimanu" which is just about to flower. Any help with keeping this wonderful plant would be appreciated. Photos to follow when it flowers

    regards Ross K


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