Ron Hanko

Ron Hanko

Posted on 01/27/2012

Photo taken on January 27, 2012

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Angraecum breve

Angraecum breve
This is an unopened bud of an orchid I have not grown or flowered before. Angraecum breve is from Madagascar, and in that way also is a bit unusual for me, since the majority of orchids I grow are from the new world.

I am totally charmed by this plant, however, both for its size, for its white flowers and for the spur which gradually uncurls as the flower opens. It will be completely open in a few days and I'll post another picture then.

Most Angraecums are large plants and some are huge. This plant is a little fan 4 cm (1.5 in.) across, the flower is 3 cm (1 in. plus) in size and the spur is over 10 cm long (approx. 4.5 in.) when the flower opens and it is fully uncurled.

It was an Angraecum, a different species and a much larger plant, with flowers carrying a 12 inch spur, that Darwin used to predict the existence of a moth with a 12 inch tongue. This flower is probably also moth pollinated.

I do not know yet if the flower is fragrant, but suspect it will be, since many white flowers and especially flowers like this are pollinated by night-flying insects who are attracted by the fragrance and who use the nectar for food.