Thursday, July 27, 2017

Will the real Arachnis flos-aeris (L.) Rchb. f. 1886, please stand up?

The real Arachnis flos aeris

In Puerto Rico, Arachnis plants are common in gardens, whoever almost all are hybrids.  The most common of which is Arachnis Maggie Oei "Yellow Ribbon".  Slightly less common is the clone Maggie Oei "Red Ribbon".  There are other clones of this hybrid but they are much more rare, one that is particularly beautiful is "Maroon".  The species itself is quite rare and few people grow it.  An image search on the Internet will yield many photos of Maggie Oei identified as the species.  Maggie Oei is a hybrid of two Arachnis species.

I was visiting a friend in the town of lares when I noticed that some of its plants were subtly different from Maggie Oei, the leaves were longer and slightly curled.  It turned out that the plants were Arachnis flos aeris.  The flowers of flos aeris are quite similar to that of the hybrids that were produced with it but the petals are more hooked and the dorsal petal produces a musky odor, one old name for the species was A, moschifera.
Arachnis Maggie Oei "Red Ribbon"

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