Aerangis ellisii (syn. platyphylla)

Aerangis ellisii (syn. platyphylla)

Aerangis platyphylla
First described by Rudolf Schlechter in 1925 the name platyphylla is of Greek origin and means ‘broad leafed’. This species is quite robust, at least in terms of other species of Aerangis. The leaves are very tough and leathery even rough looking. It even gives the impression that when it flowers their appearance will follow suit, In fact this plant has a Jekyll & Hyde type demeanour. In this case the plant being the unpleasant Mr Hyde and the flowers being the affable Dr Jekyll. To borrow a sentence from Hillerman & Holst’s book “Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids of Madagascar” The large inflorescence is like a graceful branch bending under the weight of an orderly flock of exotic birds about to launch into flight, all with long graceful tails.

Being found only on the island country of Madagascar, in the northwest in the Manongarivo Mountains, the Tsaratanana Massif and the Ivakoany Range in the south. The plants can be found growing as lithophytes and epiphytes from around 1200m to 1600m altitude.

I find this to be one of the easier plants to cultivate in our collection. It spends all year high up under a solid roof with shade cloth sides. It has a very open mix in a slat type basket. During the warmer months it gets watered three times a week and during winter once a week with regular applications of fertilizer.

For your enjoyment, Craig [Scott-Harden]!

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