Monday, February 4, 2008


The name Aerangis is the combination of two Greek words: aer ("air") and angos ("vessel"), the latter probably referring to the spur beneath the lip which contains nectar. There are many flowers on each raceme. The flowers are often very delicate with a lacy appearance and are most white or cream in color. They are predominantly fragrant in the evenings, attracting moth pollinators to the nectar.

Number of species: About 50

Calssification: Aerangis
Reichenbach f. 1865; tribe Vandeae,subtribe Aerangidinea.

Form: Leaves vary from dark green to soft gray, growing monopodially (upward from a single point). Aerial roots many; gray covered with green chlorophyll beneath, enabling the plant to photosynthesize with both leaves and roots. Size variable, some species being substantial, others miniatures.

Distribution: Tropical Africa, Comoros Islands, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka.

Habitat: Various, from coastal regions with warm growing conditions to higher mountain altitudes and dark tropical forests with cooler growing conditions. Mostly epiphytes on trees and shrubs but occasionally found on rocks (lithophytes) along the banks of streams at varying altitudes.