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Species Data

Species or Hybrid Namesesquipedale
var sesquipedale
Common Names
Common names: the comet orchid; Star of Bethlehem; Star of Madagascar; Christmas Star
Scented Yes
Growth TypeEpiphyte
Growth HabitUpright.
Temp RangeHot - over 70°F
HumidityMedium - 60% - 80%
OriginLowland forests of Madagascar
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Angraecum sesquipedale
CopyrightJustTropicals.com - 03/03/07
Angraecum sesquipedale flower, Cheltenham OS show, 3rd March 2007
Submit Your Orchid Photo You can submit your own Angraecum sesquipedale orchid picture here

GeneralAn upright orchid with a fan-like shape and large, scented, white, creamy-white or greenish-white flowers. The flowers are night-scented and have a very long (11-12 inches) nectary spur.


Provide this orchid with medium light and temperatures between 70 and 80F with an overnight drop of between 10 and 15F. Water and fertilizer may be given throughout the year, although it will need slightly less over the colder months. If fertilizer is given every other watering during the summer, reduce it to one feed in three or four for the winter. Care must be taken with watering as the medium should not be wet, but the roots should only just get dry before watering again.

Other Info

When Charles Darwin was sent examples of this orchid to examine he theorised that a moth must exist with a tongue the same length as the nectary spur of the flower to enable it to be pollinated. Entomologists at the time laughed at his theory, believing that no moth could grow a tongue 12 inches long just to pollinate a plant. Some years later Darwin was proved right when the pollinator was found - a hawk moth with a tongue exactly the right length to fit the nectary spur of this one specific orchid. The moth was subsequently named Xanthopan morganii praedicta in honour of Darwin's prediction.

NoteCultural information should only be used as a guide, and should be to be adapted to suit you. Your physical location; where you grow your plants, how much time you have to devote to their care, and many other factors, will need to be taken into account. Only then can you decide on the cultural methods that best suit you and your plants.
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