My Creative Workbook

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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Related Designs

12 April 2011 Forest Experience

This was a Flower Fantasy Competition Design staged by the Helderberg Flower Club, Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers

24 March 2011 Condition Epiphyte Orchids

How to condition Orchids to use as plants in an arrangement without placing the roots in a growth medium


Waxed fruit and a Hot Glue nest