version espanol
Phalaenopsis amabilis (Bl 1825)
lovely/pleasant Phalaenopsis (from the Greek amabilis, nice, lovely)
Distribution : Ambon , Java, Borneo, Célèbes, New Guinea,Queensland (Australia)
National Flower of Indonesia.

Angraecum album majus (Rumph 1750)

Epidendrum amabile (Linn 1753)

Cymbidium amabile (Roxb 1832)

Synadena amabilis (Raf 1838)

Phalaenopsis grandiflora (Ldl 1848)

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.grandiflora (Batem 1867)

Phalaenopsis grandiflora var.gracillima (Burb 1882)

Phalaenopsis gloriosa (Rchb.f 1888)

Phalaenopsis aphrodite var.gloriosa (Rchb.f 1891)

Phalaenopsis rimestadiana (Linden Rolfe 1905)

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.fournieri (Cogn 1898)

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.rimestadiana (Linden 1901)

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.aphrodite subvar.gloriosa (Ames 1908)

Phalaenopsis X Elisabethae (HORT 1927 amabilis x rimestadiana Vacherot)

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.ramosa (Van Deventer 1935)

Phalaenopsis celebica (Van Vloten 1932)

Phalaenopsis pleihary (Burgeff 1968)

      Epiphytic plant , very variable, robust, pendent.
      Stem short, robust, completely enclosed by imbricating leaf-sheaths.
      Roots long, fleshy, often branched, glabrous, flexible, green at the end.
      Few leaves, seldom more than five, more in culture, fleshy or leathery, largely obovate-oblong or elliptic or oval-elliptic or oblong-oblanceolate, apex obtuse or obliquely emarginate, careened with the lower face, of a clear green on the two faces, more shining above, being able to reach more than 50 cm. of length, broad 10 cm.
      Flower stalk much longer than the leaves, being able to exceed one meter ascending or arched, sometimes simple, but more often branching, brown-purplished dotted of green, carrying many flowers.
      Bracts of 5 mm, triangular.
      Flower of a white of snow, broad of 7 à10 cm, long duration, sometimes scented, spectacular.
Very spread out sepals. The dorsal elliptic-oblong or elliptic-ovate or elliptic, sometimes short-clawed, lateral sepals not very divergent, oblong-lanceolate or oval, or sometimes oblique, acute, seldom sub-acuminate ovals-lanceolate. Very broad petals, subrhomboïdes, very blunt, narrowed at the base.
Lip much shorter than the petals, more fleshy than floral segments, deeply 3-lobed. Lateral lobes erect,obovate-oblanceolate, rounded above, laterally emarginate below apex. Midlobe from a cuneate base, cruciform, doted of two very long, filiform, sinuous filaments, the cirrhi. Callus dotted of red, fleshy, conduplicate, almost square, with smooth edges, separated in two lobes by a deep throat. Column short, white, subclaviforme. Pedicellate ovary up to 5 cm.
     Sepals and petals milky white, lip more or less marked of yellow and red. Yellow callus with brown spots. White Lip, edges of the midlobe and lateral lobes yellow or brown/yellow. More or less crimson at the base of the lateral lobes and on the pedicel of the lip.
     80% of Phalaenopsis amabilis are naturally growing on Diplodiscus paniculatus (Turcz). The plants near the ocean, are sometimes exposed to the sea water spray.
    Since Lindley, Phalaenopsis amabilis is often confused with Phalaenopsis aphrodite. The distinction is done easily with the median lobe of lip, triangular on the last one.
    Flowering period is primary winter but flowers can be observed all the year. She would be induced by short days (?) and a night temperature about 18°C during 2 to 5 weeks.
     According to the ones, Phalaenopsis amabilis flowers for the first time in culture in England in September 1850 in the collection of J.H.Schroeder de Stratford Green. This plant was awarded by a medal offered by the Royal Horticultural Society. The plant is also announced in England in 1848 at Sir William Middleton close to Ipswich. For others, it was introduced in Europe by Thomas Lobb, at Veitch, in 1846 and flowers the year after. Since 1798, Dr. Roxburgh introduced it from Moluques to Calcutta and classified it in Cymbidium. In 1807, Dr. Horsfield remark this plant on the southern coast of Java. Phalaenopsis amabilis was used for basis to create the genus Phalaenopsis by Dr. Blume who discovers it in his turn a few years later in wood which partly border the littoral of the island of Nusa Kamanga.

    He was initially described by Linné in 1753 as Epidendrum amabile (first edition of "SPECIES PLANTARUM") based on specimens collected by Peter Osbeck on his way from China to England when is ship stopped in New Island (western of Java) for water, in 1752. This specimen is always observable in London in good condition of conservation.
      Osbeck, Swedish raises of Linné, in the relation of its voyage (1771) tale in detail the moment of its discovery:"Epidendrum amabile believes on the branches of trees on the shore. The plant has large odoriferous flowers, such I never observed before. I had this plant lying in my room for some days together; but the flowers did not wither, and filled it with the most agreeable smell. On the isle of Ternate, none but the princesses are allowed to wear this precious flower, which is but too scare".

  According to Lefebvre, civil servant Dutch with the botanical garden of Java, Phalaenopsis amabilis seldom meets in the thick and wet forests, but almost always in the clearings, often in the medium of the insulated trees with little provided head, letting pass much day, or sometimes on old plans of coffee-trees. In the places where grows Phalaenopsis in great quantities, the temperature never exceeds 24°c during the day; it falls below 13°c the night (August). The majority of the plants flower from October at May. The tree trunks to which the roots stick are abundantly furnished with foam, the atmosphere being wet. A handle of this heterogeneous mass of rotted sheets, remains of bark etc... seem to suffice for a whole mass to plants. They are partly sheltered during a few hours per day, the morning, and support very well the rays of the sun.
     Blume would have found it at an altitude of 600 m, but it was deferred that one can find it since the sea level up to 1500 meters of altitude. It is the species which produces the largest flowers of the genus. It was very largely used for hybridization and is at the base of the lines of white Phalaenopsis and other hybrids.
More informations
Horticultural varieties


Phalaenopsis amabilis var.aurea (Rolfe1886) Synonym : Phalaenopsis amabilis var. fuscata (Rchb.f 1862), Phalaenopsis grandiflora var. ruckeri (Burb 1876), Phalaenopsis grandiflora var. fuscata (Rchb.f 1882)

Originating from Borneo, flower a little larger than the type, former part of lip pale yellow, cirrhi yellow.


Phalaenopsis amabilis var.gloriosa (Rchb.f 1891) Synonym : Phalaenopsis pleihary (Burgeff 1968)
     Sepals and petals less round but larger. The diameter of the flower reaches 12 cm.


Phalaenopsis rimestadiana (Phalaenopsis of M.H.G. Richter-Gram Rimestad) Synonym : Phalaenopsis amabilis var. rimestadiana (Linden 1901)
     Appeared at Linden at the beginning of XX ième century , it is only one form with the flowers larger than the type and with a more vigorous vegetation. The stalk green dark, is set up, more rigid. The texture of the flowers is higher. The sheets are of a darker green. Because of its size, it was often used in the crossings. Thus, Phalaenopsis Elisabethae recorded like crossing between Phalaenopsis amabilis and Phalaenopsis Rimestadiana are in fact only one Phalaenopsis amabilis. This Phalaenopsis is originating in the island of Java.

Phalaenopsi amabilis var.vinicolor (Hort)
     Suffusion of red in the yellow colouring of the lip. Lateral lobes largely mackled and stained of dark purple/violet. Some darker veinings. The back of sepals and petals is rosy.      
Botanical varieties

Phalaenopsis amabilis var.moluccana (Schltr 1911) Synonym : Phalaenopsis amabilis var.cinerascens(J.J.Smith 1917), Phalaenopsis celebica (Van Vloten 1932)
      Originating in Celebes and Moluques. The median lobe of lip instead of being cruciform is only linear-oblong with a small size meadows of the base. The so prominent cirrhi in the type is absent or are simply suggested. Phalaenopsis cinerascens differs from the other types by a greyish foliage.



Phalaenopsis amabilis var.papuana (Schlt 1913) Synonym : Phalaenopsis rosenstromii (Bail 1906 from name of collector G.Rosenstrom), Phalaenopsis amabilis var. rosenstromii (Nicholls 1949)
      Originating in Australia and New Guinea. Lithophyte, and even terrestrial. Median lobe of lip triangular.
      More about Phalaenopsis rosenstromii in The Orchid Review 1935
Average temperature humidity and pluviometry, evolution relating to the south of Java for an altitude of 300 meters