Angraecum Flower Meaning

Orchids are known for their irregular shapes and unique reproductive structure. Their physical characteristics reflect their symbolism across diverse cultures and beliefs. For instance, the Angraecum flower meaning stems from a Westernized ideal of wealth.

The orchid signifies a life of luxury and fortune after their introduction to Europe and the U.S. The unearthly flower holds intriguing characteristics noticed by none other than the father of evolution, Charles Darwin.

Angraecum Flower

Stick around to learn more about the Angraecum flower’s meaning. We’ll also discuss the bright-colored bloom’s origin, significance, and botanical characteristics.

Angraecum Flower History

Angraecum flowers are native to tropical African regions, namely South Africa. They’re also prevalent in Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Over 200 species of the flower are present across other African areas, such as Seychelles, Comoros Islands, and Mascarenes.

Colonel Bory de St. Vincent and the French botanist Louis-Marie Aubert Du Petit-Thouars first found the orchid in 1804. Aside from that, it was Charles Darwin’s reaction to the ethereal flower that garnered more attention.

Historians describe Darwin’s first encounter with the ethereal flower as intrigue and fascination. He wondered, “Good Heavens, what insect can suck it?”

Following that speculation, the scientist went on to predict that a species of moth is capable of pollinating the flower. It had to be an insect with a proboscis extending 10 to 11 inches long.

Indeed, scientists discovered such a moth. It was a species of hawkmoth named the “predicted moth” in 1903.

Etymology

The Angraecum flower has several names, such as Darwin’s Orchid, Comet Orchid, Christmas Orchid, and Star of Bethlehem Orchid.

The name Comet Orchid derives from the flower’s star shape. Meanwhile, it’s called Christmas and Star of Bethlehem due to the blooming timings occurring during December.

The Angraecum flower’s etymological background comes from the Latinized Malayan word “angurek.” It refers to the growth pattern of Vanda orchids.

Other Latin terminologies pinpoint Angraecum as “one and a half foot tall” despite its 3.3-foot height.

Related: White Anemone Flower Meaning

Angraecum Flower Meaning

Angraecum orchids hold similar meanings to other orchids in the family. They often represent wealth and luxury in European and American cultures.

Following the trading boom of the orchids, the cultivars earned high social status. They became praised among the Western and European cultures. The comet orchid also held a royal meaning.

Aside from financial success, the Angraecum also signified hope in other cultures. Civilizations also touted the flower as a symbol of sacrifice, addiction, magic, and witchcraft. Overall, orchids became synonymous with occultist cultures.

Generally, orchids represent beauty, refinement, fertility, love, grace, and more. These characteristics reflected upon multiple cultures, from Greek to ancient Japanese civilizations.

Greek Culture

Greek cultures perceived orchids as a sign of fertility. The ancient groups used to identify the gender of a baby by looking at the flower’s tuberous roots.

Greek Culture

The longer they are, the more likely the child is male and vice versa. The implications of this culture stretch today as orchids are a popular flower gift during baby showers and family celebrations.

Victorian Culture

The Victorian era’s rich perception of the Angraecum orchids likely comes after the publication of Darwin’s books on orchids in 1862. The orchid craze among Victorians was so powerful that historians termed it “orchidelirium.”

Japanese Culture

Similar to Victorians, Japanese culture also positions orchids in a high-class category. People became inspired by the orchid’s ability to grow in extreme regions like mountains and plains.

Subsequently, they associated the flower with resilience and strength. In Japanese culture, these characteristics are synonymous with the rich and powerful.

Angraecum Flower Botanical Characteristics

The Angraecum flower can grow over two to six blossoms during winter. The timing can range between late December to early January.

Each flower is about five inches wide. By the initial stages of growth, the flower is white with green hues. After full maturation, the orchids appear pure white. They have a distinct star shape and wax-like texture.

Their fragrance is usually prevalent at night. That said, the blooming stage can last as long as two months.

Aside from the blossoms, the Angraecum’s leaves are approximately 8 to 19 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. The foliage’s color variegates in dark green and tints of gray. Shape-wise, the long leaves’ tips are rounded and, in some cases, have two lobes.

When it comes to the Angraecum’s growth pattern, it’s an epiphytic variety, which means it grows on top of other tree branches.  Additionally, the plant can develop clusters that reach eight inches wide.

Read more: Angel Trumpet Flower Meaning: Bloom of Plenty

Angraecum Flower Care Requirements

If you’re planning on gifting or owning an Angraecum flower, check out the care requirements below.

Water

Angraecum orchids require ample amounts of water during their growth period. That said, some species live on lesser water intake than others. It depends on the environment they inhabit.

For example, the Angraecum sesquipedale variety requires frequent watering compared to other orchids of the same species.

Soil

Soil-wise, you can pot the unique orchid in a coarse medium of bark and perlite. Keep the soil well-draining to avoid water logging the plant.

soil

Humidity

Like most other orchid species, the Angraecum flowers benefit from a high-moisture environment. For this reason, we suggest getting a humidifier and turning it from 50% to 80% humidity.

Alternatively, you can rely on the pebble tray method. In it, you get a tray filled with pebbles and a shallow layer of water. Place the orchid on top of the rocks and let evaporation do the rest.

Light

Angraecum flowers usually require scattered light. Nevertheless, the light requirements also depend on the species of orchid you own. Some can survive in cooler temperatures and don’t need as much light.

Wrap-Up

Angraecum flowers in most cultures suggest a meaning of wealth and prosperity. The odd-shaped orchid symbolizes high status from a European and Western perspective.

Angraecum orchids require extra maintenance and upkeep to mimic their natural environment. The orchids need careful water and humidity management to thrive since they hail from tropical African regions.

That said, upon first glance, you’ll likely be as stunned as Darwin by the orchid’s exotic beauty and captivating shape.