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Bonatea antennifera

Botanical name

Bonatea antennifera

Other names

Bonatea speciosa, var. antennifera 

Family 

Orchidaceae

Dimensions

Terrestrial orchid with green and white flowers, sometimes over 50 cm in height; dormant in winter

Description of stem

Erect light green flower stalk with decreasing leaf size upwards 

Description of leaves

Grey-green leaves that encircle the stem and taper to a sharp point, mildly undulating

Description of flowers

Green and white flowers on the single stem forms the atteactive inflorescence that sometimes topples when many flowers are produced; the top sepal is a pointed hood over the protruding other flower parts, dominated by two green, curved sepals, long white terete petals and a dangling lip

Description of seed/fruit

 

Description of roots

Flat, elongated tuber

Variation

Seems to be very stable in form and appearance? 

Propagation and cultivation

Tuberoids can be planted in pots in a suitable orchid mix, 2 cm below the surface; water only during the growing season, about August when new growth appears; repot every 5 years; semi-shade

Tolerances

 

Uses

Garden plant 

Ecological rarity

Not threatened 

Pests and diseases

Little seems to affect the plants in habitat (observed in the Magaliesberg) 

Other

Closely related to B. speciosa; there are over 20 species in the Bonatea genus, many of which occur in southern and tropical Africa 

Location

Grows in semi-shade under trees and shrubs in drier environments, often in thorn savannah

Distribution

Gauteng, Northwest, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces

Country

South Africa; Zimbabwe

Bonatea specioza var. antennifera : Photographed by Jack Latti

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2019-12-08