Polystachya virginae – 365 days of orchids – day 736


This is one of our favourite African species and one we have seen in its native habitat in the cool mountain forests of Central Africa. During our visits to Rwanda we have seen in growing abundantly in primary forest around Karamazovu Swamp at around 2200m altitude and it was one of the species studied by the students of FAWE School on our last visit in 2016.

The picture below shows the conditions it enjoys in wet forest amongst moss and other epiphytes in semi-shade.

The climate in Nyungwe is wet all year apart from two short dry seasons(which are still damp) so cultivation is similar to that for plants from South American cloud forests and we grow the species in cool Americas.

The plant shown in our photo fits the type description well but we also found plants in Nyungwe that are distinct with a red spot on the column and different shaped petals that Jacob is still investigating to determine its status (photo below)


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