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Swaziland's Flora Database

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Species Information

Polystachya albescens Ridl. subsp. imbricata (Rolfe) Summerh.
(name current 2016)
(Polystachya albescens)


Growth form: Epiphyte
Also occurs outside southern Africa
Illegal trade

Red Data Book Information:
Status: LR nt Threats: Afforestation, grazing Distribution: Gobholo Recently found in southern KwaZulu Natal forests of South Africa. A sewerage plant in Swaziland may pose a threat.

Regional distribution:
South Africa, Transvaal, and recently found in southern KwaZulu-Natal forests. Widespread in tropical Africa.

Description (Compton's Flora of Swaziland*):
Polystachya albescens - Stem up to c 30 cm high, base enclosed by few membranous sheaths. Leaves two or three narrowly lance—shaped, tapering to long point, largest c 18 cm long x 1,5 cm wide, veins indistinct. Flowers on numerous short lateral branches rather densely clustered at end of axis. Perianth ivory or yellowish-green, profile c 8 mm long, segments very sharply pointed.

* Where species names have changed, these have been matched according to herbarium specimens quoted in this publication.

map key


Stewart, J., H.P. Linder, E.A. Schelpe, A.V. Hall. 1982. Wild Orchids of Southern Africa. Macmillan South Africa, Johannesburg.