Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Brunia, Quaqua and Paranomus. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Shrubs and Succulents into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 170 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Ansellia gigantea, var. nilotica

Botanical Name

Ansellia gigantea var. nilotica

Other names

Leopard orchid


Orchidaceae; epiphytic orchid, sometimes terrestrial


A cluster of stems reaching about 60cm or more, in South Africa usually smaller; in tropical Africa apparently considerably larger clumps are common

Description of Stem

Stems green to white, emanating from pseudo bulbs and sheathed in old leaf bases, longitudinally ridged down to air roots that cling to the host tree bark

Description of Leaves

Up to 7 long, leathery and narrow leaves per pseudo bulb, wrapped round the stem at the base and tapering to a sharpish point, margins smooth, entire

Description of flowers

A few flowers per panicle, although some records report large numbers, even up to a hundred; each with five narrow segments/tepals, greenish yellow with striking scattered, purplish to brown spots; a centered modified and 3-lobed lip segment provides the distinctive orchid characteristic;  panicle may be up to 85cm; flowering early spring to midsummer

Description of seed/fruit


Description of roots

Thin white roots characteristically pointing upwards





Propagation and Cultivation

Will attach itself to a suitable tree in favourable conditions in a garden





Ecological rarity


Pests and Diseases



Attaching itself to a fork in a tree, not parasitic


Forest, coastal and riverine areas




South Africa, widespread in tropical Africa, notably Nigeria, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

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