Angraecum leonis

Monday, January 21, 2013

Angraecums in Fort Lauderdale

     The Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society held their 53rd Annual Orchid Show this past weekend.  They held a Preview Party on Thursday evening kicking off the show which was attended by several hundred guests.  The show officially opened Friday morning and ended the day with a record number of patrons attending.  Saturday and Sunday were just as busy and vendors that lived close enough were scrambling back to their green houses for more product.  All in all it has been declared an unofficial huge success.  That brings me to the real reason for this post.  Angraecums at the Ft. Lauderdale Show; not for sale, but plants that were used in the vendors displays.  T-h-r-e-e !
     I think its sad that the twenty-two orchid vendors that are required to set up displays; only three used an Angraecum.  I realize that the displays showcase the plants that each vendor may be known for or plants that they have specialized in hybridizing.  Yet each grower still uses plants that they sell to fill in spots or fill a design plan.  This time of year, their are several very large and showy Angraecums available in bud and in bloom.  Yet very few of the growers use the Alliance for display let alone attempt to sell.
     Setting aside the displays for a moment, I will say that there were several vendors with a slight selection of Angraecums.  One vendor from California, Cal Orchids had a decent selection of miniature and compact Angraecoids.  Of which I obtained numerous plants.  The point that I'm getting to is this; the Angraecum Alliance is not a popular group of plants.  There are over 600 species of Angraecoids with a large volume of hybrids now available.  The big showy plants such as Angcm. sesquipedale, Angcm. eburneum, not to mention some of the hybrids, Angcm. Veitchii, Angcm. Crestwood and Angcm. Lemforde White Beauty have gained some popularity.  When you see mature plants at the orchid shows, you see some heavy duty prices.  Many people don't want to bother with a seedling because of the amount of time it will take to grow into a prize winning specimen.  I can't forget to mention that some growers and hobbyists are afraid to grow them thinking that the plants are too demanding.  That their requirements are to stringent.  I will admit that some of the Angraecoids are a bit finicky; but think of this, give the plant what it needs and you'll be rewarded with the most beautiful flowers you can imagine.  Most are fragrant at night and will last several weeks or more.

Angraecum Veitchii
     The plant in the image above is an Angcm. Veitchii.  It was the first Angcraecum hybrid between Angcm. eburneum crossed with an Angcm. sesquipedale.  Many people are not aware of the fact that the hybrid suffers from "Twisty Flower"; and it has suffered from this affliction from day one (1899).  The seed parent, Angcm. eburneum has a superior lip.  It has turned up an erect, like a hood.  The pollen parent, Angcm. sesquipedale, has an inferior lip, it is down and points out.  The terms superior and inferior have nothing to do with quality; it is just the terminology used for the type of lip the flower has.
     Angcm. Veirchii is the offspring and its flowers can't seem to make up their mind as to how the lip should position itself.  Therefore, each flower opens facing the ground or being parallel to it.  You never seem to see the face of the flower.  The trick here is to wait for the first flower at the tip of the spike to start to open.  As soon as you see the sepals of the bud starting to split, stake the spike upright.  The flower will open facing out as will each flower after that.  Stake the spikes to soon and the flowers will still open facing down.  Once you've staked the spikes properly, you can now enjoy your hard work and enjoy the large showy blooms.
Angraecum Crestwood
     The image above shows an Angcm. Crestwood.  It is the offspring of a cross between Angcm. Veitchii and Angcm. sesquipedale.  By introducing Angcm. sesquipedale into its own offspring, the flowers have become larger, a more pristine white and they no longer suffer from "Twisty Flower".  Each flower opens facing out, however the nectary or spurs have a tendency to stick out and away from the bloom rather than hang down.  This individual plant was very well grown and cared for.  The leaves were spotless and the height of the plant was just over 18 inches (45cm) tall.
Angraecum eburneum
     The last Angraecum to make an appearance at the Ft. Lauderdale Orchid Society's show is Angcm. eburneum.  The plant is a species and is the seed parent of Angcm Veitchii.  Its flowers are tightly grouped on staked spikes; in the wild the inflorescence is usually some what pendant like.  The plant can reach close to 5 1/2 - 6 feet (1.8m) in the wild.  Both of these plants were close to 3 feet (1m) high.
     All of these Angraecums are fragrant at night and do well in a coarse medium; allowing the root system quick drainage and the chance to breath.  They really don't have a rest period during the winter months like some of the small Angraecoids do.  With the proper care they can outlive their owners.


  1. Eles são lindos obrigada por compartilhar.

  2. Great article. You mentioned the Crest wood can be potted in a course mix. Can it be mounted on bark or bare root in a basket? I live in south Florida and wanted to know some other methods for growing this orchid.

  3. To TJM;

    I would suggest against it. The plant has the capability to grow overall in excess of 30 inches. Not long ago I was growing an Angcm. sesquipedale bare-rooted in a wire basket. It went well until it reached a height of 20 inches. It will require watering SEVERAL times a day during So. Florida's HOT Spring, HOTTER Summer and HOT early fall. You will not be able to give it enough water. Mounted, close to the problem, it may last a bit longer but still not be productive in producing flowers. You should think about a slatted basket (10 inches) with a non-organic coarse medium for fast drainage and the ability to let the roots breath. This is what I'd do at any rate. Hope it helps!

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