Leopard orchid spotted at Likweti

The Ansellia africana orchid, also known as the African Orchid or the Leopard Orchid has been spotted in a tree by a resident from the estate.

The Ansellia africana orchid is an epiphyte, which means that the whole plant, roots and all, grow above ground, attached to the branches of trees. The roots, which anchor the plant to the tree, are specially adapted to absorb water and nutrients very quickly.

It normally grows in clumps and can appear rather large. The plant flowers during the dry winter months in a mass of yellow or greenish yellow blooms, which can be lightly or heavily marked with brown spots. In the wild, plants live for a long time and can become very large, some estimated to weigh over a tonne.

You’ll spot this orchid growing naturally over most of tropical Africa and into Northern Namibia, Northern Botswana, Swaziland, and in Northern South Africa, the Lowveld and Natal, mainly in hot, dry river valleys.

Reference: http://pza.sanbi.org/ansellia-africana

Ansellia africana orchid spotted growing naturally at Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate, and Ansellia africana orchid flower.

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