Thursday, February 18, 2010

Botany Photo of the Day

What a magnificent orchid to share with our viewers.....

Plant Family: Orchidaceae
Scientific Name and Author: Angraecum sesquipedale, Thouars
Name Location: cultivated in Saint Peter, Minnesota, USA

Thank you to Brian aka aeranthes@Flickr for sharing the photograph today (original image via BPotD Flickr Pool). The following illustration is by John Nugent Fitch, and is now a public domain work after having been originally published in the 1882-1897 publication, The Orchid Album

Angraecum sesquipedale has a bevy of common names, including Star of Bethlehem orchid, comet orchid and Darwin's orchid.

The most amazing feature of this orchid is the over 11 inch long nectary and the insect that pollinates it. Commonly called the Darwin Hawk Moth, Xanthopan morganii praedicta, has an extremely long proboscis that reaqches the last inch of the nectary of this orchid where the sweet nectar is hidden. The moth is attracted to the orchid intense fragrance and the white color of its labellum that is well visible at night.

Xanthopan morganii praedicta, Darwin Hawk moth, pollinating the Angraecum sesquipedale

To view the full article visit the Botany Photo of the Day website

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