Angraecum leonis plate
Angraecum leonis from Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
SubTribe: Angraecinae
Genus: Angraecum
Bory 1804
Type Species
Angraecum eburneum

The genus Angraecum, abbreviated as Angcm in horticultural trade, common name Angrec or Comet Orchid, contains about 220 species.


Tropical Africa and Madagascar contain the majority of the genus with outlying species in southeast Asia. But these orchids can also be found on the Comoros, the Seychelles, and the Mascarenes. They occur between sea level and 2,000 m in humid regions.


They are quite varied vegetatively and florally and are adapted to dry tropical woodland habitat and have quite fleshy leaves as a consequence. Most are epiphytes, but a few are lithophytes.

The long-lasting flowers are racemose and grow from the leaf axils. They are mostly white, but a few are yellow, green or ochre. They all have a long spur at the back of the labellum (lip).

In the case of Angraecum sesquipedale, a species from Madagascar, on observing the 30cm spur in the lip, Charles Darwin made the hypothesis that, since the nectar was at the bottom of the spur, a pollinator must exist with a tongue at least that long. Otherwise the orchid could never be pollinated. At the time, he was not believed. However, in 1903, the predicted pollinator was discovered, a hawk moth then named Xanthopan morganii praedicta ("praedicta" meaning "the predicted one"). It has an appropriately long proboscis. The specific name sesquipedale means "one foot and a half", referring to the length of the spur. This is a perfect example of mutual dependence of an orchid and a specific pollinator.


Plants are best grown hanged in baskets and on mounted and usually require moderate sunlight and warm temperatures. Plants must be watered frequently in the summer and reduced to a daily misting during the winter except for warm winter days. If potted should be grown in media that is well drained such as tree fern fibers (for small plants),several pieces of medium fir bark, or sphagnum moss.

Angraecums flower best when in a lighter position. Most Angraecums will have their leaves for a number of years so any sun burn spots are ugly for a significant period and also may expose your plant to disease. In indirect sunlight your Angraecums will reward you with blooms and attractive growth.


The name is Malaysian and refers to its vanda like appearance.


  1. Aeranthus Rchb.f 1826
  2. Aerobion Spreng. 1826
  3. Angorkis Thou. 1809
  4. Angorchis Spreng 1822
  5. Barombia Schlechter 1914
  6. Epidorchis Thou. 1822
  7. Macroplectrum Pfitz. 1889
  8. Monixus Finet 1907
  9. Pectinaria Cordem. 1819


  1. Section Acaulia
  2. Section Dolabrifolia
  3. Section Pectinaria
  4. Section Perrierangraecum
  5. Section Conchoglossum
  6. Section Filangis
  7. Section Angraecoides
  8. Section Pseudojoumellea
  9. Section Arachnangraecum
  10. Section Gomphocentrum
  11. Section Lepervenchea
  12. Section Lemurangis
  13. Section Nana
  14. Section Boryangraecum
  15. Section Chlorangraecum
  16. Section Hadrangis
  17. Section Humblotiangraecum
  18. Section Afrangraecum
  19. Section Angraecum

Species Edit


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