Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum

Week 42: Jan 18, 2021

Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum

This week I would like to present a fantastic plant - Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum.

Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum (Thouars) H.Perrier (1941) is accepted species by WCSP (Kew). This species is found in hot damp tropical woods in eastern Madagascar as well as Comoros and Seychelles Islands.

The Angraecum species (about 220 species) are famous for their spectacular white, nectariferous, long/short-spurred flowers and unique relationship with pollinators. Angraecum eburneum is a large to giant size and has produced white and green, night fragrant flowers (10 to 15 per inflorescences).

Previous Awards:

There are 28 AOS and other awards on Angraecum eburneum; however only 8 awards have been given to Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum (6 AOS for flower and cultural and 2 AOC (Australia)).


Current candidate has 65 flowers and 1 bud on 6 inflorescences. Number of flowers per inflorescence is between 9 and 13. Two growths, 4 inflorescences from main growth and 2 inflorescences from second growth. Length on inflorescences is between 57 and 66 cm.

Plant size: transverse - 86cm; height - 80cm; height with inflorescence - 90cm. Grown in 10 inch (26 cm) pot in bark.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 7.0 cm; NS V - 11.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 1.0 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 4.2 cm;

Petal W - 1.0 cm; Petals L - 4.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 1.0 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 4.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 4.1 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 4.0 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Sixty-five flowers and one bud on a relatively young, two growth, six inflorescence, quite well-grown, very clean, robust plant.

Flower size, color, count per inflorescence and arrangement within range for quality award (HCC) presently. In several growing seasons, this most certainly will qualify for cultural award (standard quite high for culture in this species. See: Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum 'Castle' CCM | AOS | (89 points)).

Alan Koch (Accredited Judge, California Sierra Nevada Judging Center)

Flower size and shape are above average for this species. Although with virtual judging it is difficult to judge the color, but assuming the color is correct the color is also above average for this species. I have grown a population of this species in the past and think this is a very fine example of it. The exhibitor has done themselves a disservice by not separating the inflorescences by staking which would have made this a super dramatic presentation. I would nominate this plant for a merit award and score it a mid AM. I would not score for a cultural as this species blooms well and is not difficult to put on a fantastic bloom.

Alan Koch

Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

What a stunning display of flowers, well bloomed with 65 beautiful flowers. I like the colours of this flower more than the other awarded plants. The petals and sepals have a nicely saturated apple green colour contrasting with the white lip. The lip is very attractive with the green colour radiating from the base. The green colouration at the base of the lip really makes the lip stand out. I believe that it is a more attractive flower than the “Georgia Star’ that received an AOS/AM 81 in 2017. The flower has good form, is more floriferous that the ‘Georgia Star’ and the flower size is comparable to other awarded plants. The flowers are well arranged on upright inflorescences.

I would nominate this plant for a flower quality award and scored it an AM of 82-83 points.

As far as a cultural award, I would pass on this plant. It has much fewer flowers (65 flowers) compared to the 2014 CCM 89 awarded ‘Castle’ with 248 flowers and our candidate is a substantially smaller plant. I would have considered a cultural award as the plant looks very healthy however, the inflorescences are not evenly arranged around the plant so that the presentation of the flowers is not as stunning as compared to “Castle’.

Nate DePinto (Student Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Candidate: Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum

My initial response, when looking at this plant and comparing it with the other awarded subspecies, is that the lip is striking and immediately draws you into the center of the flower. This, in my opinion, is due to the ombre green into white that leads nicely into the column and makes for a very attractive non-resupinate flower. I also appreciate how stiff and flat the dorsal sepals and petals are, facing forward and presenting themselves in unison with the rest of the flower. Some of the past awarded flowers have notably reflexed/uneven dorsal sepals and petals. Lateral sepals completely hidden by lip when looking at the flower head on, I believe this makes for a neater presentation when compared to partially protruding lateral sepals. Flower size seems to align with past awarded plants with the lip/pouch W falling on the larger side. The flowers are very clean, glossy and well presented.

The flower count is high, compared to other lower scoring AMs; however, this species is notorious for growing very large and for putting on quite a show, with many flowers/inflorescences as is evident by the CCM of 89 points. This being said, I would recommend a flower quality award towards a higher scoring AM of 88-89 points.

Thanks Sergey, looking forward to reading others responses!!

-Nate D.

Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum.


I grow this species. It’s not the easiest, so I commend the grower. First impression is that it is a very well grown plant likely hung high with slight shade in the greenhouse as the inflorescences and buds slowly developed over months. All the spikes are held similarly and arranged nicely without any visible staking. That said, I think I would have added some stakes lower on at least two or three of the inflorescences to separate them for better presentation. I think it would have gone a long way to make the plant display look fantastic and blooms appear less crowded.

There looks to be at least one inflorescence that had a bud blast at the apex so it did not fully develop, but I can’t be sure from the limited photo angles. The arrangement of the individual inflorescences is good.

The flower measurements are comparable to prior awarded and the form is nice with dorsal and petals held nicely with no twisting and a symmetrical lip with erectly held midlobe apices. Color and condition of the blooms are good. The flush of chartreuse is pronounced and attractive in the throat of the lip.


Considering all factors, I would nominate this plant for a cultural award and a flower award and expect each award scoring at about 80-81.

Thank you,


Sergey Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum

What a gorgeous flowers!

During my business trip to Africa in 2008 I visited Madagascar and I was hoping to see Angraecums in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, when I asked local people about orchids they looked at me like I came from different planet! Probably, they were correct: first, I visited south of the island (Ilakaka region). This place was like a desert because local people burn everything to have new grass for their zebu (local cows) and second, it was an August (winter time there).

Anyway, maybe next time!

Our current candidate with 65 flowers on 6 inflorescences looks in the range of the awarded plants.

Flowers are very consistent in the shape, color is nice, lip is pretty flat. Flower size 7 x 11 cm is on a higher size range of awarded flowers. Based on the size, quality, color, flower count per inflorescences and presentation I would nominate this plant for flower award and score mid AM 84-85 pts.

Regarding cultural award: I think this plant is not ready for that. I prefer to see larger plant with few more growths, maybe 10 inflorescences. But most important - presentation. I would stake inflorescences on the right and left to make dramatic presentation.

Hope to see it next time.

Kudos to grower!



Diana Kleiman (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

When you can get Angraecums to grow and bloom this way it is always a delight. And of course the fragrance is a wonderful plus.

The candidate, although very well grown, is not really in the running for a cultural award. The 2 previous cultural awards to this subspecies have had considerably more inflorescences/flowers.

The size and form of the candidate’s flowers seem to fall within range of previous flower awards to this subspecies. However, the larger amount and intensity of the green in the lip is quite evident. In looking back at some earlier awards however, the green in the lip has been seen before, so that in itself would not qualify it for a flower award.

The grower should enjoy it and keep doing what they are doing. A cultural award could be in the future.

Diana Kleiman

Elena Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Beautifully grown plant! Consistently large flowers on 6 upright inflorescences; color white; sepals and petals overlaid lime green centrally; column and anther cap green.

There are 8 awards in OrchidPro. This plant could be nominated for a flower quality award taking into consideration the size, consistency and presentation of flowers. I would score in 83-84 AM range. For culture award nomination this plant needs to have more flowers and perhaps a better presentation, all flowers are pointed in one direction. It would be nice to have flowers more evenly distributed circumferentially. Last CCM was given to the plant with 250 flowers. The candidate plant has a great potential, the foliage is immaculate, all flowers are spotless, fully opened and in a perfect condition. Kudos to the grower!

Thank you,


Carrie Buckman (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum

This is always a favorite! This plant is nicely grown, and is still quite young with two growths. The flower and display are typical for this species. Flower size and count per inflorescence are within the awards ranges.

‘Castle’ was awarded a CCM (89) in 2014 with 248 flowers and 2 buds on 22 inflorescences (~11 flower/inflorescence) on an 8-growth plant). The candidate has 65 flowers and 1 bud on 6 inflorescences (~11 flowers/inflorescence) on a 2-growth plant. They are similar in terms of flower/growth, both about 33; and inflorescence per growth at ~ 3. The big difference is in the overall display based on the number of flowers.

‘Georgia Star’ was awarded an AM (21) in 2017. It NS of 6.9 x 12.8 cm is slightly larger than the candidate whose NS is 7.0 x 11.0 cm. The marking on the candidate with the pronounced green at the base of the lip is notable.

In summary, this is a young and happy plant that is on its way to being a specimen in a few years’ time. With a little more “heft” it should quality for consideration for a cultural award. The more prominent green markings on the lip are certainly attractive, but are not sufficient to nominate it for a flower quality award. Kudos to the grower for presenting this beautifully grown and flowered plant.

Exhibitor - David and Joan Rosenfeld, NJ

Virtual Award Description

Sixty-five eye catching, non-resupinate flowers and one bud, uniformly presented on six ascending inflorescences to 66cm, held above clean dark green foliage on a 86-cm wide by 90-cm tall plant in a 26-cm plastic pot, grown in bark mix; sepals and petals subulate, apple green, margins entire, lateral sepals reflexed, obscured by lip; lip spade-shaped, bright ivory, apex cuspidate, margins entire, flushed bright apple green proximally; column green, anther cap yellow-green; substance heavy; texture satiny, lip eggshell.

Grower's Advice

This Angraecum eburneum subsp. superbum was purchased as a seedling for $12 in 1998 from Hermann Pigors of Oak Hill Gardens in Dundee Illinois in 1998. I believe they have now moved to Wisconsin. It has been a very vigorous grower and divided several times. Currently have 2 large growths. One growth with 4 inflorescences and one with 2 inflorescences. This is most spikes ever on this orchid.

It grows in Cattleya light 2500-3000 fc. Blooms for about 6 weeks in excellent condition.