Expedition no. 2: Habenaria praestans at Roland Close, Kambanji: 17 Feb 2007

Bernard Beekes invited me to see the colony of native Habenaria praestans in his (wild) garden in Roland Close, Kambanji.


Image 1

Photo: Mark Hyde
Bernard Beekes looks at the dense vegetation

Image 2

Photo: Mark Hyde
Habenaria praestans

Image 3

Photo: Mark Hyde
Close-up of flowering Habenaria praestans

Image 4

Photo: Mark Hyde
View up the steep slope to the house

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Description

The site of Habenaria praestans was shown to me by Bernard Beekes on 17 February 2007.

The plants occur on a steep slope below a house in the Harare suburb of Kambanji. The habitat is basically moist miombo woodland with both Brachystegia spiciformis and Julbernardia globiflora.

A small stream runs down the hill but this was not flowing at the time. The understorey vegetation is quite dense and has something of a riverine character, as may be seen in the presence of Acanthus polystachyus, Carex spicato-paniculata, Prunus cerasoides and Rhamnus prinoides.

The orchids clearly favoured the shadier places beneath shrubs and trees.

Two main colonies of H. praestans were found; one with approximately 20 stems, the second with approximately 13.

As is often the case in suburbs of Harare, many of the herbs and shrubs were alien species. These are generally similar to those found at Greystone Park Nature Reserve, which is not far away. This is the third location at which we have found escaped Acanthus polystachyus; the first was Greystone Park and the second was in the riverine vegetation of the Umwindsi River near Dulverton Drive.

Mark Hyde


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-17

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2017). Flora of Zimbabwe: Expedition no. 2: Habenaria praestans at Roland Close, Kambanji.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/outing-display.php?outing_id=2, retrieved 21 August 2017

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