Angraecum calceolus

Angraecoids Species

by Tom Kuligowski

Posted by Tom Kuligowski almost 4 years ago.


This article references Angcm. calceolus.
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     Angraecum calceolus originates from Madagascar and the surrounding islands.  It can be found extensively at the base of trees and thick brush in humid areas at sea level and to the altitude of about 6,700 feet (2,000m).  The English translation of the name means 'the little shoe'.
     The root system on Angcm. calceolus is very numerous and is heaviest at the base of the plant; however the more mature the plant becomes, it will put out roots from the stem to within about 4 inches (10cm) of the crown.  The stem itself can grow to a height of about 7 1/2 - 12 inches (20-30cm) although the average maximum height in culture doesn't exceed 8 inches (23cm).

 

Angraecum calceolus' root system

 

 There can be up to ten leaves on the plant which can reach a length of 6 1/2 - 8 inches (16-20cm).

 

Angraecum calceolus with additional plants at the base and in flower on 6 - 18 inch (15-45cm) long wiry inflorescence.

     Angcm. calceolus will do well mounted to various slabs and wood as well as potted / baskets of 4 - 5 inches (10-13cm).  They have a tendency to grow like weeds and can become heavy clumped specimens in a short period of time.  New plants will develop at the base and often on the lower sections of the stem.  Angcm. calceolus is considered a compact plant and will do very well in the colder reaches of the northern hemisphere; it should however be kept out of temps of 60 degrees F or lower.  If you see ice forming on a window in the winter, keep the plant away from it. 

     During the warmer late spring into the early fall while temps are warm, water the plants that are potted or in baskets every three days.  Back off the watering to every 5 - 7 days during the cold winter months.  Any plants that are mounted should be watered every day during the warm months and every 3 - 4 days during the winter.  When watering both the mounted plants and those in containers, be sure to water the potting material, mounted material or bare roots only.  Try not to get excess water on the leaves.  Too much water sitting up against the stem can and will cause stem rot.  Fertilize every 7 days summer and winter.  Use a systemic fungicide every 30 days and a topical for minors issues when needed.  Be sure to spray the entire plant then; especially the bottoms of the leaves.

Angraecum calceolus

     The average inflorescence is usually about 12 inches (30cm) long and has reached a length of 18 inches (45cm) on several occasions.  There can be 1 - 3 branches on the inflorescence that are 4 - 6 inches (10-15cm).  The number of flowers will range from 4 -6 on a less mature plant with up to fifteen flowers on a mature specimen.  The peduncle is very stiff and wiry and have blackish bracts every 3/4 - 1 1/4 inches (2-3cm) apart. Flowers are about 1 1/4 inch (3cm) long with a club shaped nectar or spur.  Flowers are of a green tint.

     The flowers of Angcm. calceolus do not open in any one direction.  Because of their small make up on being borne on such a wiry platform, it is not unusual to see about 10% of them self pollinate.  They may not be the showiest Angraecums you can own; but they do grow quickly and have a very unusual flower.  Keep in mind that they take up very little room.

<-- Angraecum calceolus with ants and aphids

     Up until recently, the only pest issue I've had to deal with was aphids.  As you can see in the image above, an ant is farming the aphids.  It collects the waste from the aphids to use as fertilizer for their own food source.  Using a mild insecticide will eliminate and prevent this problem from occurring.

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