Angraecum stella-africae P.J. Cribb

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Angraecum stella-africae

Photo: Bart Wursten

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Synonyms: Angraecum sp. (Renny 225) of Ball, Southern African Epiphytic Orchids: 62, 1978
Common names:
Frequency: Very local and rare
Status: Native
Small epiphytic herb. Leaves 3-5.5 cm, 3-4(-6), distichous. Inflorescences 1-2 arising below leaves, 1-flowered. Flowers large and showy, white. Sepals 20-25 mm. Petals 18-20 mm. Spur 12-15 cm, pendent.
Notes: A very rare species, only known from a few locations in Malawi and northern South Africa. In Zimbabwe, it was previously known only from one old record (D. Parks, 1977). It had not been found again after several attempts and was listed as probably extinct in Zimbabwe (RDL, 2002). Recently (Jan. 2004) a small but healthy population was found, growing on Brachystegia in Vumba. The single flowers, large for such a small plant, are short-lived and often do not open fully at all. The capsules do develop normally, which indicates the species readily self-pollinates. In the Vumba specimen, however, the flower was fully open and remained in prime condition for more than a week. The locality is stable and well protected but the extremely small and localized population is still at considerable risk, even from possible natural disasters. The Red Data listing should be adjusted to Critically endangered.
Derivation of specific name: stella-africae: Star of Africa.
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodland
Altitude range: (metres) 1600 m (approx)
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Epiphyte.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Critically Endangered
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Ball, J.S. (1978). Southern African Epiphytic Orchids. Conservation Press, Johannesburg. Pages 62 - 63. as Angraecum sp. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 6. As Angraecum stellaafricae

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 167. as Possibly Extinct (EX?)

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 78. as Angraecum sp. no. 1

Johnson, S., Bytebier, B, & Stärker H. (2015). Orchids of South Africa, a Field Guide Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 53. (Includes a picture).

Kimberley, M.J. (2003). A List of Epiphytic Orchids of Zimbabwe Excelsa 20 Page 49.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2) Page 378.

La Croix, I. et al. (1983). Malawi Orchids Volume 1 Epiphytic Orchids National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi Pages 34 - 35. Protologue (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 240. (Includes a picture).

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Page 423. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 94.

McMurtry, D., Grobler, L., Grobler, J. & Burns, S. (2008). Field Guide to the ORCHIDS of Northern South Africa and Swaziland Umdaus Press, PO Box 11059 Hatfield 0028 South Africa Pages 422 - 423. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B. (2007). Angraecum stella-africae P.J. Cribb, The rediscovery of this rare orchid in Zimbabwe Excelsa 21 Pages 37 - 38. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Angraecum stella-africae:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Angraecum stella-africae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Angraecum stella-africae
African Plant Database: Angraecum stella-africae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Angraecum stella-africae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Angraecum stella-africae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Angraecum stella-africae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Angraecum stella-africae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Angraecum stella-africae
JSTOR Plant Science: Angraecum stella-africae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Angraecum stella-africae
Plants of the World Online: Angraecum stella-africae
Tropicos: Angraecum stella-africae
Wikipedia: Angraecum stella-africae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Angraecum stella-africae., retrieved 20 May 2024

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