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Leopard orchid

Ansellia africana

African ansellia

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A magnificent large orchid, this perennial epiphytic plant is found growing in clumps attached to trees. It has white needle-like aerial roots that form a basket like structure which catches decaying leaves for the plant to feed on. If given the right conditions and plenty of bright light, this orchid will flower prolifically. The flowers appear during Spring and are yellow with brown or maroon spots.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Spring

Harvesting

Flowers can be cut for the vase - it will last around 10 days.

Propagation

Division
Cut through the rhizome which connects the pseudobulb using a sterile knife or cutters. Make sure that each section has at least three pseudobulbs.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Hawk moths visit the fragrant flowers at night.
Attracts birds
Eagle owls have been observed making a nest in a large clump of the orchid.

Geography

Origin
Tropical and Southern Africa
Natural climate
Tropical forests

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Zulus make a tea from the pseudobulb which is used as an emetic, and the Pedi use it to suppress coughing in young children.

Personality

Family
Orchidaceae
Flower colour
Green to yellow with brown to maroon spots
Scent
Mild

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