Acineta

Yellow Acenita Flowers

Yellow Acineta Flowers

What is Acineta?

Acineta is a genus in the orchid Orchidaceae family. Abbreviated as Acn, acineta was obtained from the Greek word 'akinetos'. It refers to the stiff labellum or lip (non-articulated with no joint) and means immobile. 

Acineta has large, plicate leaves similar to Lycaste and Peristeria plant leaves. The acineta leaves feature parallel nerves whereas acineta flower structure resembles that of the Stanhopea. The flowers are cup-shaped and reddish brown to pale yellow in color.

Acineta's pendant inflorescence has many fragrant racemes flowers. The labellum side lobes join at the central callus with four pronges. The lip's hypochile (part at the base) resembles the side lobes in length. The orchid plant has a pubescent column with two waxy pollinia. However, the Acenita dalessandroi species has four pollinia; it could be under a different genus.

The beautiful look of the Acenita flower petals attract Eufriesia or Eulaema male bees for pollination. The plant genus grows in the American tropics and has about 15 species. Acineta chrysantha, barkeri, superba, beyrodtiana and erythroxantha species are fragrant. Other popular species include Acineta densa, suctoria, sella-turcica and moorei, among others.

Acineta Description

Acineta plants grow up to 4 feet tall with two to four pleated leaves at the top. They are bulky and feature deeply-grooved pseudobulbs that resemble eggs. Many flowers bud on one unbranched spike that grows up to 20 inches long. The plants feature thick, strong branches with waxy flowers.

The round flowers resemble bells and dangle from the plants in loose bunches. The flowers have cream or yellow petals with reddish decorating spots. The spherical blossoms open partially with smaller petals enclosed with larger sepals, creating the shape of a sleigh bell.

Acineta moorie

Acineta moorie

The flower chamber resembling an orb is almost enclosed by the cupped part at the front. The rigid yet fleshy lip side lobes enclose the column, a hairy, thick and waxy part at the base of the flower.

History and Ecology

Native to Mexico's tropical mountainous forests and Ecuador, the epiphytic plant grows at 800 to 2,000m above the sea level. However, they grow as terrestrials or lithophytics on steep terrains. The plants are believed to have originated from the South Americas. It is now found in most parts of the world with various species cross-bred to adapt to different regions.

Large to medium euglossine bees are responsible for pollinating acineta flowers. They collect fragrance for mating by scratching the lip and in the process transfer pollinia to the column of the plant; pollens stuck on the back of the bees are scraped on the column as the bees enter and leave the flowers. Different acineta species produce distinct fragrance.

Acineta Culture

The Acineta plant genus thrives in wet altitudes in the forests. Under moist conditions in cool to intermediate temperatures, the plants grow in pots or baskets at home. However, extremely warm or hot climates can lead to drop leaves and cause plant stress. It also has pseudobulbs with keikis on the top side.

Acineta Cultivation

Acineta grows well at 12C (55F) and requires moderate light, but not direct sunlight. During active growth, the plant requires 40% to 60% humidity and lots of water. At maturity, the plants require less water. Open mix or basket culture are used for potting and fertilization is done once a month.

Do you want to fill your yard with beautiful fragrance? You can grow Acineta plants at home in your garden. If you don't have a garden, the plants can easily grow in pots.

Check out our collection of supplies and tools for gardening to find what you might need to grow Acineta at home.