(pronounced: ay-er-AN-theez)


Vandeae subtribe Angraecinae. Senghas divided the genus into two subgenera. Subgenus Aeranthes has the rostellum continuous with the sides of the column forming apical wing-like structures (auricles) that protrude in front beyond the anther. Subgenus Dent

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Monopodial epiphytes. Stems very short, producing fan-shaped plants. Leaves alternate, distichous, strap-shaped, arching. Inflorescences axillary, slender, flexuous-wiry, pendent or rarely erect, racemes or panicles, frequently blackish, frequently reflowering on old inflorescences, the floral bract inconspicuous. Flowers cupped, nodding, green or white, usually translucent. Sepals and petals free, spreading, subsimilar, subequal, usually long-caudate, the lateral sepals fused to the long column foot. Lip unlobed, ovate, long-acuminate, arched at the middle, flexibly hinged at the base, without callus, with a short, club-shaped spur. Column short; pollinia 2, porate, each on a linear stipe, without viscidia.


From the Greek aer, meaning air, and anthos, meaning flower, probably alluding to the flowers which seem suspended in mid-air on their very fine inflorescences.


A genus of 30 species centered in Madagascar, the Comoro Islands and the Mascarene Islands with two of the species on the African mainland. This genus, also seen under the alternate spelling Aeranthus, was historically a “catch-all” genus including many n

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Bosser, J. 1971. Contribution a l’étude des Orchidaceae de Madagascar, XV. Nouvelles espèces du genre Aeranthes Lindl. Adansonia, ser. 2, 11(1):81-93.

Cribb, P. J. 1975. A note on the identity of the Madagascan orchid Aeranthes caudata Rolfe. Adansonia, ser. 2, 15(2): 195-197.

Hillerman, F. 1978. Aeranthes neoperrieri: Leprechaun from Madagascar? Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 47:234-236.

McMurtry, D. 1987. A second species of Aëranthes in Zimbabwe. S. Afr. Orchid J. 18(3-4):24-25.

Senghas, K. 1987. Die Gattung Aeranthes, mit zwei neuen Arten aus Madagaskar (Die Angraekoiden Orchideen Afrikas und Madagaskars, XVI). Die Orchideen 38:2-9.

McMurtry, D. 1987. A second species of Aeranthes in Zimbabwe. South Afr. Orchid J. 18:24-25.

Stewart, J. 1978. A new species of Aeranthes from Rhodesia, a genus new to Africa. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 47(8):719-723.