Read more of Cultivation of Ansellia africana Lindl.
Ansellia africana needs a light level of 25000-40000 lux. To bloom, the plants need a lot of bright light, but it should be filtered or dispersed, and the plants should be protected from the midday sun. Strong air movement should be ensured all the time.
It is a thermophilic plant, but requires cool nights during rest periods. In summer, the average day temperature is 25-26° C, night 18-19° C, with a daily amplitude of 7° C. The average winter temperature is 21° C at night, 9-11° C at night, with a daily amplitude of 10-11° C.
Ansellia africana needs the humidity of 70-75% for most of the year, only up to 65% for 2-3 winter months.
Substrate, growing media and repotting:
Ansellia africana grows better when placed in a relatively large container, with excellent drainage, using a very loose, quickly draining excess water substrate, providing excellent air circulation. After watering the substrate must dry up quite quickly.
You can use medium granulation of fir bark or pieces of tree fern fiber with the addition of coarse pearlite and / or chopped sphagnum moss, which simultaneously increases the permeability of the substrate and allows the retention of moisture. The addition of charcoal helps to ensure permeability and prevents soda.
The plants should be repotted immediately when the substrate begins to decompose or grow out of pots. If repotting is done at the time when new roots begin to appear, the plant will be accepted and rooted in the shortest possible time.
Rainfall is low to moderate throughout the year with a slightly drier period in winter. The cultivated plants should often be watered during active growth, but excellent drainage should be ensured so that the substrate within the roots is not degraded or soggy.
During the active growth, the plant should be fertilized every week 1/4-1/2 of the recommended dose of fertilizer for orchids. From spring to mid-summer, you can use fertilizer enriched with nitrogen, then switching to phosphorus-enriched fertilizer in late summer and autumn.
Ansellia africana should be kept almost dry during the rest period to induce flowering. The amount of water in the winter should be reduced and allow the plants to dry well between waterings, but they can not remain completely dry for a long time. Occasional fogging in the early morning, between rare watering, it should protect plants against excessive drying and at the same time provide the necessary dry rest period. Fertilization should be reduced or eliminated until new growths appear and a more abundant spring watering begins.
Ansellia africana Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 30: t. 12 (1844).
Ansellia gigantea Rchb.f., Linnaea 20: 673 (1847).
Cymbidium sandersonii Harv., Gen. S. Afr. Pl., ed. 2: 360 (1868).
Ansellia africana var. nilotica Baker, Trans. Linn. Soc. London 29: 154 (1875).
Ansellia confusa N.E.Br., Lindenia 2: 36 (1886).
Ansellia congoensis Rodigas, Lindenia 2: 35 (1886).
Ansellia nilotica (Baker) N.E.Br., Lindenia 2: 36 (1886).
Ansellia humilis W.Bull, Nursery Cat. (William Bull) 1891: 3 (1891).
Ansellia africana var. australis Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1937: 462 (1937).
Ansellia gigantea var. nilotica (Baker) Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1937: 462 (1937).
Ansellia africana subsp. australis (Summerh.) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter, Orchideen Beschreib. Kult. Zücht., ed. 3, 1(23): 1454 (1990).
Ansellia gigantea subsp. nilotica (Baker) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter, Orchideen Beschreib. Kult. Zücht., ed. 3, 1(23): 1455 (1990).
Robust epiphytic herb, sometimes lithophytic, 50–125 cm tall. Pseudobulbs clustered, 10–60 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, fusiform or cylindrical, ribbed with several nodes, yellow or yellow-green. Leaves 4–10, borne on apical half of pseudobulb, 15–50 × 1.5–5 cm, lanceolate, acute (rarely obtuse), dark green. Inflorescence apparently terminal but arising from a node just below the apex, paniculate, laxly many-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 2.5–4 cm long; bracts 1–5 mm long. Flowers usually yellow, blotched lightly or heavily with red-brown, but occasionally plain yellow or yellow-green. Dorsal sepal 16–35 × 5–10 mm, elliptic, obtuse; lateral sepals similar but slightly longer. Petals 16–30 × 5–14 mm, elliptic, rounded at the apex, slightly shorter and broader than the sepals. Lip 14–22 × 12–19 mm, 3-lobed, with 2–3 longitudinal keels down the centre; side lobes erect, rounded in front; mid-lobe orbicular to obovate, obtuse and apiculate or retuse, the margins undulate. Column to 12 mm long.
Widespread, often in hot dry mixed deciduous woodlands at medium to low altitudes, in riverine vegetation and miombo woodlands near rivers, on Hyphaene, Adansonia, Colophospermum, Ficus, Brachystegia, Parinari, Terminalia, Uapaca and Albizia spp., also sometimes on rocks in shade, rarely in forest 0–1700 (2200) m.
Read more of cultivation of Ansellia africana Lindl.
This is a very variable plant, and several species have been described over the years, differing mainly in the size and pattern of the markings of the flowers. The habitat is also varied – while it is predominantly a plant of woodland in hot dry, relatively low-lying areas, it can also occur in forest and at quite high altitudes. However, there seems to be little correlation between the characters and all forms tend to intergrade.
Trop. & S. Africa
The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Malawi Orchids Vol 1 La Croix 1983; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984; The Manual of Cultivated Orchids Bechtel, Cribb, Laurent 1992; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1992; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1995; The Orchids Of Kenya Stewart 1996; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 2 Pope 1998; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999; 4; Flora's Orchids Nash and La Croix 2005; Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland McMurty, Grobler, Grobler & Burns 2008
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