An introduction


2.3 The ruckeri alliance - yellow red/brown flowers

This alliance contains the most species according to the Schlechter classification - or comprises a very variable single species, according to one's point of view.

Earlier works have retained this separation, although Oakeley in his latest work, lumps clowesii and the former 'ruckeri' into a single group. Readers should, hlowever, note the modern view, and refer to the clowesii page.

(a) Anguloa ruckeri, Lindley.

Hawkes notes it is vegetatively similar to
A. clowesii, having smaller vegetative plants, a shorter inflorescence, but bearing larger flowers with a heavier texture. Its flowers are 90 mm long, very fragrant, greenish/brown outside; yellow, densly red spotted inside. It is highly variable with regard to the inner colour of the flower, which can range from glistening white to almost entirely blood red. Spring summer flowering, Hawkes notes it is native of Colombia. This species was first introduced into European cultivation at the same time as clowesii, this species first flowered by a Mr Rucker in 1846.

Schlechter, as noted by Kennedy2 includes as allied species hohenlohi C. Morr, macroglossum Schlechter and goldschmidtiana Schlechter, although Kennedy notes that while Schlechter first described the last two species in his 1916 review, he (Kennedy) could find no subsequent record of them in the literature. Kennedy believes they may (with hohenlohi) be in collections mislabelled ruckeri, or that ruckeri may be a variable species, with these three forms synonyms or varieties of the same species.

Angulocaste (Lycaste Vulcan X Anguloa ruckeri)

The Dictionary of Gardening and Williams both show Anguloa hohenlohi as a synonym for A, ruckeri var. sanguinea. Whatever is the true position regarding this species, Kennedy's flattened lip diagrams are reproduced here.

One further species of this group is Anguloa brevilabres Rolfe, first described in The Orchid Review in 1915. It was incorrectly subsequently redescribed as Anguloa saggittata in The Kew Bulletin of 1931, although this was corrected in 1935.

Kennedy2 notes all 5 'species' are exceedingly superficially similar, with essentially identical floral morphology, the principle diagnostic feature involving the lip configuration, as illustrated. Under Anguloa ruckeri the literature lists a number of colour variants, including var. albiflora (white), sanguinea (deep red) (Veitch); retusa (dark purple) (Williams); and alba (white), media (dotted carmine) (Dictionary of Gardening).

In his latest work, Oakeley now beleives this 'species' is, in fact, a natural hybrid between Ang. hohenlohii crossed with Ang. closesii. Colonies of this natural hybrid have been see in Venezuela, and the artifical hybrid using these parents has been made, showing typical 'ruckeri' form.

Oakeley notes there has been considerable degree of interbreeding and nautual hybrid backcrossing in the Anguloa hohenlohii/clowesii group..Refer to Oakeley's excellent latest article for a full discussion. (Orchid Digest 63.4 October/December 1999) with extensive colour photographs.

It now should be shown as Anguloa xruckeri to indicate its hybrid status.

Anguloa xacostae is the natural hybrid of Anguloa hohenlohii x Anguloa eburnea from northern Colombia.

(b) Anguloa hohenlohii Morren

This dark red Anguoa first flowered in Belgium in 1849, following collection in Colombia. It is now no longer known there, although is found in Venezuela.

It has dull beige-orange flowers outside, and dark red colouration internally. The opening in the flwoer is very constricted

Anguloa hohenlohii var. macroglossa was given specific rank as Anguloa macroglossa, but Oakley has reduced it to only a variety of this species.

(c) Anguloa brevilabris Rolfe.

A species from Colombia, growing some 1,500 metres above sea level in woodland.

It is said to made an enormous free sllowering plant, showing greenish red to dark beige flowers, internally spotted with dark red.

Anguloa ruckeri var. retusa is a synonym for this species, as are Ang. goldschmidtiana and Anguloa sagittatqa..


I hope that you find the information in this site useful

If you wish you may forward  
E-mail comments etc. to me at -

E-mail enquiry