You can see moth actually unfurling its proboscis and drinking the nectar in this youtube video. The Angraecum is a fragrant star-shaped orchid with a long tail.
The spur of the flower is 27–43 cm (10.6–16.9 in) from its tip to the tip of the flower's lip.
Finally the entire flower closes in on itself. Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior Robert A. Raguso says hawkmoths’ long tongues grant them entry to most flowers.
Hence the rostellum pretty closely resembles that of Calanthe after the disc has been removed. Being epiphytic, these orchids can be potted, placed in a basket, or mounted onto bark.
As with many night-blooming orchids, the flowers of A. sesquipedale are white, and its scent is strongest at night when its pollinators are on the move. I need to dig up my old old film photo of a 6 foot tall, multi-dozen flowered specimen of this plant I encountered at my very first big orchid show, the Pacific Orchid Exposition, back in 2001. Thank you everyone. follow all the links-- thank you, botanical drawings are so important they Darwin's 1862 prediction of a coevolved moth with a proboscis of 35cm was ridiculed by some as being impossible.  Angraecum sesquipedale has been attributed as having a nicer appearance when grown in cultivation than when found in the wild, since wild specimens appear as a long stem surrounded by a few struggling leaves.  The orchid lives in an environment with heavy rainfall, up to 150 in (380 cm) per year.
To explain the phenomenon, Darwin suggested an arms race of sorts resulting in flowers with perpetually lengthening floral tubes, and moths with perpetually lengthening tongues — a prediction that represents one of his major contributions to evolutionary biology. One of the most regal and stunning orchid species on the planet. Visitors to the greenhouse can also see 'Wee Stinky,' the rare titan arum plant that bloomed this spring, in its fruiting stage.  From his observations, Darwin surmised, in his 1862 publication On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects, and On the Good Effects of Intercrossing, that there must be a pollinator moth with a proboscis long enough to reach the nectar at the end of the spur.
It is possible that the subspecific epithet praedicta was given in honor of the fact that Darwin predicted its existence, but there is no reference to Darwin in the paper that described the moth.
 Attached to the viscidium via the caudicle is the pollinia.
Their ideal temperatures range from 60-80 °F (approx 15 to 28 Celsius) by day.
Darwin's orchid is located in the Green Greenhouse 114 on campus, attached to Kenneth Post Lab on Tower Road.
The latter name is a reference, of course, to Charles Darwin, who wrote the following in 1862 in On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. The flowers of A. sesquipedale on the other hand would be evolving longer spurs since flowers with longer spurs are more likely to become fertilized by long tongued moths. "Plus, it is truly glorious for just one short week of the winter each year. According to F.E.  It was named A. Veitchii, but it also commonly goes by the name King of the Angraceum hybrids. Thanks, Stuart, that's the video I was looking for and couldn't find it!  According to Wasserthal, hawk moths could have evolved long proboscises as a predatory avoidance strategy from heteropodid spiders. I encourage everyone to come see it.”, Angraecum sesquipedale, also known as Darwin’s orchid, Christmas orchid, and Star of Bethlehem orchid. The orchid flowers were sent unidentified and were later identified by James Bateman's son, The J.A. The pure white flowers are large, waxy, thick, long lasting and fragrant at night. Twenty years later after the naturalist's death, the X. morganii praedicta was discovered. As such, moths with too short of a proboscis would not be able to get as much food as those moths with a longer proboscis who could reach all of the nectar.  A. sesquipedale var.
Clock models using either rate- or fossil-based calibrations imply that the Madagascan subspecies praedicta and the African subspecies morgani diverged 7.4 ± 2.8 Mya, which overlaps the divergence of A. sesquipedale from its sister, A. sororium, namely 7.5 ± 5.2 Mya; since both these orchids have extremely long spurs, long spurs likely existed before that. It is also known as the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ orchid because of the large star shaped, white flowers This orchid has a nectar tube of 25 – 30 cm in length with only the distal end filled with nectar. Angraecum sesquipedale has a bevy of common names, including Star of Bethlehem orchid, comet orchid and Darwin's orchid. sesquipedale is "measuring a foot and a half" (referring to the length of the flower from the tip of the dorsal sepal to the bottom of the nectary or spur as it is often referred to). Repot every two to three years in Spring when growth restarts.
After being sent several flowers of A. sesquipedale by James Bateman, Darwin noted the defining characteristic of the species, its extremely long spur. "The fact that the orchid's mysteries are still unfolding is a big part of what makes this flower so special," Cooper adds. Cornell’s orchid has been in its collection for more than a decade and is housed at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, managed by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES). (1824), Macroplectrum sesquipedale Pfitzer (1889), Angorchis sesquepedalis Kuntze (1891), and Mystacidium sesquipedale Rolfe (1904)..
 After Darwin's publication, George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll published a book in 1867 titled, The Reign of Law, in which he argued that the complexity of this species implied that it was created by a supernatural being. , For some time after this prediction the notion of a pollinator with a 35 cm long proboscis was ridiculed and generally not believed to exist.
Presumably still unaware of Rothschild and Jordan's discovery, Wallace responded stating that he didn't know of a suitable pollinator in Madagascar, but that he had heard of one from East Africa with a long enough proboscis.
They are expected to continue to pump out flowers possibly until the end of the month. On the other hand, as the nectar, at least in the lower part of the nectary, is stored safe from depredation by other insects, the extinction of the Angræcum would probably be a serious loss to these moths.  The choice of growing the plant in intermediate or warm housing conditions can affect the timing of the flowering. oh my we are so lovely and do come up Darwin’s fascination with Angraecum sesquipedale — and with answering this question — led him to predict a species of moth with a proboscis capable of extending 10 to 11 inches, able to reach the flower’s nectar reserves. It was a moth with an amazingly long proboscis that was coiled in its head when not in use.  At the end of the spur is a small amount of nectar usually about 40–300 µl in volume. The new site is up at http://botanyphoto.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/.
A star orchid is blooming on campus this week, but its story began 150 years earlier when Charles Darwin first observed the flower's foot-long nectary and famously wondered: "Good Heavens, what insect can suck it?". Darwin took up this explanation briefly in a footnote of the second edition of his famous orchid book, explaining that although this explanation was no doubt true, it cannot account for the lengthening spur.
By this means alone I succeeded in each case in withdrawing the pollinia; and it cannot, I think, be doubted that a large moth must thus act; namely, by driving its proboscis up to the very base, through the cleft of the rostellum, so as to reach the extremity of the nectary; and then withdrawing its proboscis with the pollinia attached to it.
Too cool! The 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 (link to additional illustrations). “The fact that the orchid’s mysteries are still unfolding is a big part of what makes this flower so special,” Cooper adds. It is often recommended that A. sesquipedale be grown under warm to intermediate conditions and given as much light as possible without burning the leaves. As a result, nature would select for hawk moths with longer and longer probosces.
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