Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Superb Superbum

This orchid has begun to open. Since this is such an exciting plant, I want to elaborate a bit more... just for the fun of it. This beautiful and rare orchid species is native from the Seychelles, Comoros, E. Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands. Beside the common names of "The Magnificent Angraecum" and "The Ivory-Colored Angraecum," this species has many other names the most famous of which is " Star of Bethlehem Orchid."

A different but very famous orchid of this species was discovered in East Madagascar by French botanist Aubert Du Petit-Thouars (1758-1831:) The Angraecum sesquipedale. The Angraecum generic name is derived from the Malaysian "Anggrek", which in the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago is used as a general term for epiphytes featuring thick roots. The English vernacular names "Comet Orchid," "Christmas Star" or "The Star of Bethlehem Orchid" also allude to the star-shaped flowers and the long spur. The French commonly name it: "l'√Čtoile de Madagascar."

This photo shows one bloom of my Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum, which is its official scientific name. This illustrates the reason it has acquired the "Star of Bethlehem Orchid" name. You can learn about Angraecum orchids here, and a beautiful specimen of this superbum is found here .

Eberneum superbum

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