July 20, 2016

Wild Leopard Orchid

Leopard Orchid or Ansellia Africana
Leopard Orchids (Ansellia Africana)
While trekking around different areas of Congo, I have seen clumps of unidentified pseudobulbs clinging to various trees.  However, rarely have I had the privilege of seeing those plants in bloom.  You can imagine how excited I was to see these wild Leopard Orchids or Ansellia Africana .  I walked by these trees almost everyday and noticed the long, cane-like pseudobulbs but doubted I'd see them bloom.  Then to my amazement, at the end of the dry season, during the month of September the plants started producing long flower spikes and a profusion of blooms. Ansellia Africana is native to tropical and southern Africa. Apparently these orchids are usually found at elevations lower than 700 m, however, these beauties seemed quite happy at 1,500 m in Kolwezi, DR Congo.