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Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Ansellia Africana - Leopard Orchid

Ansellia Africana

Detail from "Forest Experience". Helderberg Flower Club: Floral Fantasy Competition

Common name

Leopard Orchid


Tropical Africa- into Namibia, Northern Botswana, Swaziland and in South Africa in the Northern Province, the Lowveld and Kwa-Zulu Natal. In hot dry valleys.



A mass of green, or yellow flowers marked with brown spots.

Vase life

As flowering plant: up to three months.<br> As a cut flower: Seven to ten days with proper care


Sweetly scented especially at night


Cut from stem and use the individual blossoms or use the entire stem in a vase. The Leopard orchid is very popular in traditional African arrangements- it is believed to be a love charm, an antidote for bad dreams and at homesteads it will ward off lightning.


Plant:After flowers fade give the spike a clean cut just above the second or third node to encourage re-flowering. The entire plant can also be conditioned to use in an arrangement by removing the growth medium and submerging in warm water overnight.<br> Cut flower: Give the stem a fresh cut preferably keeping a section of the main stem attached to the flower stem and condition in deep water. Flowers can be revived by bathing them in lukewarm water.

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