What’s flowering – the spider orchid (Bartholina etheliae)

This beauty is flowering at the moment on Grootbos Nature Reserve (www.grootbos.com) and the Fynbos Trail (www.fynbostrail.co.za). Its not that easy to find as it stands just 10 to 15cm above the ground on a thin hairy stem in relatively dense fynbos. Knowing where to look really helps so each November I like to head up into the hills to look for theses magnificent floral gems. I spotted a few this year, but the photo below was taken by Fynbos Trail guide, Christoff Longland on Grootbos.

spider orchidThis dainty ground orchid has a single, rounded, hairy leaf pressed to the ground. It bears a solitary white flower that has lobed lips with spoon-shaped tips making it look like a spider and is found from Southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape as solitary plants or in scattered populations.

 

Well spotted Christoff – and thanks for sharing your great pic – I love it!

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