Orchids in South Africa

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Did you know? There are almost three times the amount of orchids grown in South Africa as there are in all of Europe! The southern African region boasts 479 species, 65 percent of which are endemic. Our orchids grow in a wide variety of different habitats, including bushveld, savanna, karooid scrub, thorn scrub, fynbos and grassland. As in many other plant groups, the Western Cape is where most of the species flourish, in a wide variety of colors and uniquely shaped blossoms.

 
 

Some interesting aspects of this exotic flowering plant include the fact that fire stimulates the blooming of a large number of species. The economic uses of orchids are various, but orchids do not actually play a major role in any ecosystem. For the botanist, the orchids are significant, being a highly specialized group in very active evolution. They also display remarkable, complex reproduction and pollination strategies.

 
 

For those of us who are not versed in the science of orchids, their delicate, sculptural beauty alone is enough to captivate. Look for spectacular orchid displays at Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens on Day 6, at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Day 7, and throughout Cape Town during your Cape Town Experience with us.

 

Portions of this post were excerpted from the South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) website, plantzafrica.com.                           

Cape Town

Johannesburg

Kruger National Park

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