Ancistrochilus thomsonianus plate
Ancistrochilus thomsonianus plate from
The Orchid Album

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Arethuseae
SubTribe: Bletiinae
Genus: Ancistrochilus
Rolfe 1897
Type Species
Ancistrochilus thomsonianus

Ancistrochilus, abbreviated as Ancstrc. in horticultural trade, is a genus of the orchid family (Orchidaceae), comprising only 2 species.


These two species are cool to hot growing orchids, found from tropical West Africa to Tanzania and Uganda. They grow on tree trunks and large branches at elevations between 500 to 1100 m.


These are sympodial epiphytic plants with wide, characteristic conical or pyriform pseudobulbs, carrying two to three broad, acute, lanceolate leaves. These leaves are shed after growth has slowed down.

Three to four large and attractive, fragrant flowers, 8 cm across, then appear from the base of the mature leafless pseudobulb in a pubescent inflorescence. The petals and sepals are dark-colored, rose pink . The three-lobed lip is magenta. It ends in an elongated, narrow, curved projection.


Plants should be grown in shade with intermediate temperatures. Grow in a well drained terrestrial mix with medium bark and perlite. Keep plant media moist and water regularly during growth season. During winter reduce watering. Do not let the mix dry out.


The name is derived from the Greek words ankistron ("hook") and cheilos ("lip"), referring to the form of the lip.

Species Edit


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  • Christenson, E. A.. Ancistrochilus thomsonianus: the successful introduction of a rare African species. Orchids 71(1): 30-32., 2002
  • Mannens, P.. Niet zo vaak gezien in een collectie Ancistrochilus. Orchideeen no.1: 9-10, 2002

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