Orchid of the day – Polystachya leonardiana

What a find. This orchid is one of Rwanda’s 61 endemic species (not found in any other country) and it is restricted to montane forest and ericaceous scrub high on Rwanda’s mountains. We found it flowering 200m below the summit of Bigugu on the side of a tree trunk. Polystachyas deserve to be more widely grown with their beautifully patterned flowers. The flowers do tend to look downwards but when they flower just above your head this is a really good trait.


How many experts does it take to name an orchid?

About 24 it turns out. Zoe did her usual trick of finding an interesting orchid under her foot while we were all looking in trees.
The tiny Polystachya growing on a stick that must have recently fallen from the tree above turned out to be Polystachya spatella. Orchid identification with our friends from Kitabi has been great fun and really rewarding.


Orchid of the day – Calanthe sylvatica


Two photos of this stunning terrestrial. We found it in swampy woodland on the edge of Kamiranzovu. It is about time the word ‘swamp’ was reclaimed as a good thing and its negative connotations forgotten. In Kamiranzovu today no one sunk without trace, no one was attacked by a mysterious swamp monster and we were surrounded by amazing plants and wildlife. Please do your bit to support the conservation of the world’s threatened wetlands or should I say swamps.