Aerangis fastuosa

Family: Orchidaceae

Countries: Africa, Madagascar

Aerangis fastuosa can be found in the eastern and central Madagascar highlands, between 900 and 1750m.  This miniature, epiphytic orchid species grows in a number of different natural habitats, from humid, evergreen forests, to mountain and coastal forests, where it flowers from July to December each year.

Aerangis fastuosa produces white flowers, which are very large in comparison to the size of the plant.  Aerangis fastuosa flowers are heavily scented.  Each bloom releases a beautiful, highly perfumed, intoxicating scent, which is akin to jasmine, it’s simply divine!  The fragrance produced by Aerangis fastuosa‘s flowers is at its most powerful in the evening – to attract the moths that pollinate this plant, but I have found that this orchid species’ delightful scent is also detectable, and very enjoyable in the daytime too.

I originally purchased an Aerangis fastuosa specimen to grow in my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.  At a later date, this plant was moved into my Long Term Review BiOrbAir Terrarium.  I received a question from a reader in January 2016, who asked if my Aerangis fastuosa specimen, might in fact be Aerangis fuscata – a rarer miniature orchid, which is also from Madagascar.  When the supposed Aerangis fastuosa specimen that I had ordered, arrived in the post, I had a question mark in my mind as to whether I had been sent the orchid that I had requested when I placed my order.  I referred to a number of library books on orchids and searched online for photographs of different species of Aerangis.  I have shown photographs of this orchid to a number of orchid experts from around the world, so far no one has been able to identify the specimen with any definite clarity; although more recently on Twitter, other orchid enthusiasts have voiced their agreement with the identification of this orchid as Aerangis fastuosa.  I am in agreement – I think this plant is Aerangis fuscata, but the best and easiest way to identify this orchid will be if it flowers.  I will continue to refer to this orchid as Aerangis fastuosa for ease of reference – as that’s how I have always referred to this plant, but I do hope to make a definite identification, if and when, the orchid flowers.

This miniature orchid that was purchased as Aerangis fastuosa was first installed inside my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir terrarium, you can see how well it grew inside this terrarium, in my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir.  After a period of time, I moved this Aerangis specimen to my other BiOrbAir terrarium, you can follow the same miniature orchid specimen’s growth in A long-term review of the BiOrbAir (part four) and in the instalments of my trial and review that follow.  Following a period of growth inside my long-term review BiOrbAir terrarium, the next journey for this Aerangis specimen was a move to my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, you can see the plant’s growth and development inside this special terrarium in this and the continuing terrarium reviews.

I purchased a second Aerangis fastuosa specimen at the end of March 2017 from Vacherot & Lecoufle.  This time I was absolutely certain that the plant I had purchased was indeed Aerangis fastuosa.  This orchid specimen was grown inside my Madagascan BiOrbAir Terrarium.  You can click here to head straight to the update that shows Aerangis fastuosa in flower.

Alternatively, please click here to see two of my Aerangis fastuosa plants and follow their growth, as these two plants grow and develop inside my Rainforest Terrarium.

To see one of my Aerangis fastuosa plants in flower inside my Rainforest Terrarium, please click here.

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