African Orchids

African Orchids

Of the more than 20 thousand species of orchids in the world, there are about 470 African orchids, belonging to 53 genera. This is a relatively small number in comparison to the roughly 1200 hundred genera native to Europe. Nonetheless, the African orchids leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind when you see them for the first time.

African orchids are divided into two distinct species – the terrestrial orchids and the epiphytic orchids.

The majority of the African orchids are terrestrial. These types of orchids usually grow in the forests, savannas or the grasslands throughout the African continent. You will also find these orchids growing on bushveld, thorn shrubs, karooid shrubs and fybnos. The highest concentration of orchids in Africa is found in Western Cape region.

It has been observed that fire and intense heat promotes flowering in these plants – this is useful information for those who want to grow these wonderful plants in artificial conditions. Simulating the same living conditions of the orchid is the best way to breed them artificially.

African orchids do not have any agricultural value nor do they have any critical role in the ecosystem. The orchids are, however, considered very peculiar plants that show active and accelerated evolution which has thrilled and intrigued scientists worldwide.

These extremely beautiful African orchids grow on trees but they are not parasitic plants. They can attach themselves to trees but produce their own food either through their roots or leaves through photosynthesis. They are dependent upon the tree only for the humidity content.

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