Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Aerides crispum Lindl.

Frost-tender, variable, epiphytic orchid with upright, then pendant many-flowered racemes, to 1.5m long, of large, white, rose-flushed flowers with a rose-purple lip, in summer.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is certainly one of the finest of its race, and worthy of a place in all collections of merit.’  [BR f.55/1842].  ‘Aerides means “air plant”, in allusion to their independence of habit, deriving nourishment from the moisture in the air.  It is a beautiful genus of East Indian Orchids, possessing charming qualities whether in or out of flower.  Their leaves are long and gracefully curved, shiny, evergreen and always pleasant to look at.  Their long and vigorous roots often hang pendant in the air; the flower spike, which is sometimes branching, proceeds from the axils of the leaves, and is often two feet or more in length.  The flowers are waxy and lie close together all round the spike; colours most delicate; fragrance powerful, so much so that a single spray of A. odoratum will perfume the whole house.’  [Jennings].  Introduced to Britain in 1840 and probably first flowered by Sir Richard Brooke of Norton Priory in 1842. ‘A native of Courtallam, East Indies, whence I possess native specimens from its discoverer, Dr. Wallich.  Living plants were received at the Royal Gardens of Kew in 1845, but the plant had previously (in 1842) flowered in the collection of Sir Richard Brooke, Bart., of Norton Priory.  It is one of the most lovely of the very favourite genus Aerides, and still I believe one of the most rare.  Our plant differs slightly from that represented by Dr. Lindley in the more diffused purple tinge on the lip, and its more deeply cut edge, rather fimbriated than serrated.  It flowered with us in July.’  [BM t.4427/1849].  IH p.119, Vol. 4/1857.  FS f.438/1849.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [O.1/1850].  Requested from Loddiges’ Nursery on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.185] and obtained from them, brought out from England in that year by Captain P. P. King.  [ML A1980-3]. 


Published Feb 17, 2009 - 04:27 PM | Last updated Jan 24, 2010 - 11:42 AM

A striking orchid with pale pink flowers and prominent purple lips.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4427, 1849.

Aerides crispum Lindl. | BM t.4427/1849 | BHL

Family Orchidaceae
Region of origin


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Aerides crispum 

Confidence level high