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ANGRAECUM eburneum

Image of Angraecum eburneum

Michael Charters,



Botanical Name

ANGRAECUM eburneum

Plant Common Name

Angraecum Orchid, Comet Orchid

General Description

With fantastic drooping stems lined with apple green and white flowers, Angraecum eburneum is a large clump-forming orchid that bedazzles from mid-autumn through to winter. A tropical orchid native to the highly moist forests of eastern Madagascar and eastern coastal Africa, its long flower parts are pollinated by hawk moths at night. The starry flowers have long "tails" which is why its common name is the comet orchid.

This epiphyte is rarely found growing on moist rocks, making some lithophytic. It has slender pseudobulbs that elongate. These become topped with ten to fifteen light green to slightly yellow green leaves that are strap-like and leathery. Root and pseudobulb growth is vigorous through spring and summer. In early autumn, very long arching stems arise from the maturing leaf fans. Up to fifty small flowers line the stem, each being apple green with an ivory lip that is inverted so it's on the top-side of the bloom. The petals are waxy, long-lasting and dangle downward. Each as a long nectar spur that releases strong fragrance at night, attracting moth pollinators. Although growing year round in its sultry homeland, it undergoes a brief dormancy in very late winter after flowering.

Grow this comet orchid in very bright light, ideally protected from intense midday sun rays. It does not grow in soil but should be firmly mounted to a tree or palm trunk. This large orchid also adapts nicely to being grown in a sturdy wooden basket in coarse bark nuggets or mounted onto a hanging wood slab or tree fern plaque. High humidity and good air circulation are needed year round. Apply a dilute fertilizer solution only when the orchid is actively growing.

Use this splendid orchid as a large specimen in a tropical garden. Indoors it is best given very bright light. If light levels are too low, usually indicated by leaves being dark green, flowering may never occur. Increase the home humidity by placing the plant atop a pebble-tray filled with water. It is excellent for a warm greenhouse setting. The flower stems may be cut and used as a long-lasting bouquet.

Two naturally occurring varieties are Superbum, which has slightly larger, more robust flowers, and longicalcar with its amazingly long nectary spurs that dangle down like taproots.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    12 - 15

  • Sunset Zone


  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    20"-26" / 50.8cm - 66.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Africa, Southern Africa, Madagascar

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green

  • Flower Color Modifier


  • Fruit Color

    Light Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing