African Ansellia Overview
This genus only contains 1 epiphytic perennial species of orchid, A. africana, which grows without the need for a soil substrate, gleaning nutrition and moisture from its surroundings. It produces characteristic white, needle-like aerial roots which point towards the sky to catch falling leaf litter from which the plant gains nutrition. This plant is adapted to seasonally dry climates and is found across tropical and Southern Africa. It produces thickened shoots which are cigar-shaped in appearance, measuring around 1-3cm wide and 10-60cm long. Also produces pseudobulb structures, which function as water and nutrient storage organs. These are green in colour for young specimens, turning yellow and wrinkled with age. Foliage is lanceolate in shape, measuring between 15-50cm long and pointed, with many veins and these leaves tend to fold along the veins. Flowers are produced on branched inflorescences called panicles, they are waxy and most often coloured yellow, with red spotted patterning, but completely yellow and yellow-green coloured flowers have also been observed.