Orchids on Bigugu

Lots of amazing orchids on Bigugu too.

Ripidoglossum pulchellum Ripidoglossum pulchellum

This epiphyte is a new species for the orchid project. Many orchids in Nyungwe share this growth habit and so spotting plants in flower is important to confirm species and on this trip we have some brilliant orchid spotters.

Polystachya spatella Polystachya spatella

Aaron spotted this small orchid flowering in Erica forest on Erica johnstonii. The species is abundant on Bigugu but only this plant was in full flower.

Disa starsii Disa starsii

We found Disa starsii growing right at the top of Mount Bigugu amongst heather and growing in a thick layer of moss over bare rock.

We next head into the forest on Friday with the girls from FAWE. Today we are resting, recovering and doing our washing.



Join the Discussion


  1. Gareth Buckle says:

    So glad to see you are back down safe and well and great to see the different orchids

  2. Joao Farminhao says:

    My name is Joao and I’m a PhD student at the University of Brussels where I’m currently revising the genus Rhipidoglossum.
    The orchid depicted on the first photo is most likely Rhipidoglossum bilobatum and not R. pulchellum. By any chance do you have more photos of Rhipidoglossum from the field. I would be very grateful if you could share them with me. It would be pleausure for me to identify them.
    Best wishes,

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Great to hear from you Joao – It will be a pleasure to change the name on our photographs. I will get one of my students to look out photos from our visits to Rwanda and send any to you. What a great genus to work on. We were not familiar with Rhipidoglossum before exploring Nyungwe and had a lot of trouble trying to identify species not in flower or well up trees! An expert would be very handy.
      Do you have access to seed of Rhipidoglossum? We would love the opportunity to make help raise the profile of the genus.
      Will you be going to the European Orchid Congress in Paris next year? We will be there and it would be great to meet up.