Angraecum sp.

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Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2012
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Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
I purchased this as Angraecum mahavavense from Madagasca import by Louisiana Orchid Connection (spring 2017).

I've used the key in Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar by Cribb and Hermans. It keys out to be Angraecum praestans. However, the shape of the lip is wrong (this plant doesn't have the large spur opening like A. praestans).

There aren't so many photos of A. mahavavense, but the field guide has it, and the overall shape is very close. But A. mahavavense appears to have yellowish petals/sepals. This could be due to the older age of the flower (mine is open only for 4-5 days). But the flower size of A. mahavavense is supposed to be about 1/2 of this plant.

The other similarly looking species is A. potamophilum. I couldn't find a photo, but the illustration shows some similarity. But the flower is supposed to be even smaller than A. mahavavense.

It is possible that one of the later two species have a large variation in flower size. But they appear to occur in very limited area, so I don't expect a large geographic variations.

Am I in the wrong track of identifying this plant? Any ideas of other possibilities?

dorsal sepal: 29x8mm
lateral sepal: 32x5mm
petal: 26x4mm
lip: 34x17mm
spur: 135mm
ovary: 36mm long, 3mm diameter
Inflorescence 70mm, 4 flowers per inflorescence

Leaf 165x13mm.

Angraecum sp. on Flickr

Angraecum sp. on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (lip) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (column) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (column) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (spur & ovary) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (inflorescence) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (plant) on Flickr

Angraecum sp. (root) on Flickr
Last edited:
This is supposed to be Angraecum praestans: It just opened. I got it from Ooi Leng Sun Orchids last year.

The first flower (the one photoed above) is gone, but the remaining 3 flowers are open now.

Angraecum sp. on Flickr

I'm still not sure about the mismatch in the observed vs described flower size. But I noticed that the fresh flower is significantly smaller, and as the flower ages, it becomes 20% larger than the initial size. In the photo below, the newest flower (the top one, which opened 3 days prior to the photo) is small:

dorsal sepal: 24x6mm
lateral sepal: 22x5mm
petal: 20x7mm
lip: 25x13mm
spur: 140x2mm
ovary: 26x3mm.

The older flower (the bottom one, 2nd of the 4 flowers) is:

dorsal sepal: 30x7mm
lateral sepal: 29x6mm
petal: 29x4mm
lip: 30x13mm
spur: 132x2mm
ovary: 35x3mm.

This dimension is similar to the first flower (which isn't in this photo).

The spur size doesn't change much. This makes sense, because the length is critical to deposit the pollinia at the correct position of the pollinator.

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