WSBEorchids

Aerangis mystacidii – 365 days of orchids – day 1703

I am often asked if it is possible to grow orchids mounted on cork in a house and I am delighted to answer the question with this beautiful African orchid species that grows in my dining room and has flowered every year for the past five years. This year it has more flowers with three spikes and 45 flowers, each 2.5cm across with curved spurs 5-6cm long.

It is in the morning sun today on its shelf 1m from and facing our east facing bifold doors. (see growing spot below) and each morning it produces a lovely strong fragrance presumably for dawn active moths.

The plant is growing on a cork mount that I sit in a ceramic dish. I water by spraying the roots most days with rain water/feed (I fill my sprayer from the greenhouse tank which has rain water and weak feed in it). We also have plants mounted in the greenhouse where we find the species one of the easier Aerangis species to grow. We grow them in shade in Warm Asia though they will grow cooler.

Aerangis mystacidii is endemic to South Africa growing in forest along rivers in dryer areas and in evergreen forests in wetter areas. We have seen related species flourishing in woodland just north of Durban (see photo below) during our school visit in 2011.

The photo shows several species, probably Mystacidium capense, Mystacidium venosum and Microcoelia obovata, growing together on a small branch in semi-evergreen coastal forest.

The natural habitat suggests that the Aerangis mystacidii will enjoy shaded conditions with very good drainage but some water throughout the year.

Aerangis are easy orchids to grow on from seedlings and we have seed from the plant shown de-flasked in the greenhouse so more plants will be up on the shop soon, along with a couple of other Aerangis species.

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  1. Helen Urquhart says:

    That is such a beautiful plant! I’m loving your 365 days. Thank you!

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      We may have some seedlings for sale from the plant later this month – I will hunt through the greenhouse