Angraecum magdalenae – 365 days of orchids – day 1285

We are delighted to feature our second Angraecum this week. Angraecum magdalenae from the mountains of central Madagascar is one of our most rewarding orchid species, and this large plant that we have had since 1998 gets better and better. The large (8cm) waxy, pristine white flowers are wonderfully fragrant and this year the plant is covered in buds and so should be flowering for the next two months or so.

The plant’s natural habitat is in leaf litter amongst quartzite boulders but we find the species enjoys a mossy basket where its roots remain damp and cool. Most of our Angraecum species are warm growing but Angraecum magdalenae does best for us in Cool Asia (minimum 10C) where it is slowly growing into a real specimen with flowers which contrast beautifully with the dark green leaves.

We are delighted to have thousands of seeds of this species doing very well in our propagation lab and will have plants for sale in flask within 6 months. The flowers hold their nectar in long curved spurs suggesting pollination is by one of Madagascar’s large hawk moths. Unusually the spur curves back up and under the flower as seen in the side view photos. My guess is that in epiphyic species there is plenty of room for spurs to hang downwards, but since magdalenae is a terrestrial it needs to keep its spurs up off the rock surrounding the plant.


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