Ansellia Lindl.
  • Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 30: t. 12 (1844)


This is a synonym of Cymbidiinae Benth.

General Description

Medium-sized to large epiphytic or rarely terrestrial or lithophytic herbs. Pseudo-bulbs clustered, fusiform, several-noded, ridged when older, leafy in apical half, surrounded at base by many erect bristly roots. Leaves plicate, large, several in apical part of pseudobulb. Inflorescence axillary, from apical nodes, arcuate, paniculate, laxly many- flowered. Flowers large, showy, pale greenish yellow or pale to rich yellow, ± spotted (often heavily) with red or dark maroon. Sepals and petals subsimilar, spreading. Lip porrect, 3-lobed, bearing several longitudinal ridges; side lobes erect on each side of column. Column porrect; pollinia 4 in 2 pairs, ovoid and 2 sizes, attached to not easily distinguished viscidium.

Large epiphytic herb, rarely terrestrial or lithophytic, with spreading roots from which arise many erect, bristly litter-gathering roots.Pseudobulbs clustered, fusiform, ribbed, several-noded, leafy towards the apex.Leaves large, plicate.Inflorescence axillary, from apical nodes, arcuate, paniculate, many-flowered.Sepals and petals subsimilar, spreading; lip 3-lobed with a ridged callus.Column with 4 pollinia in 2 pairs, ovoid but of 2 sizes, attached to obscure viscidium.

Epiphytic or rarely lithophytic herbs. Roots stout, basal, and usually also fine-pointed, erect, detritus-gathering. Pseudobulb fusiform to fleshy cylindric, homoblastic, 8–10-leaved. Leaves lanceolate, acute to acuminate, articulated to a sheathing base. Inflorescences pyramidal, lateral, arising from nodes in upper parts of the stem, racemose, branched; floral bracts persistent. Flowers yellow, heavily spotted with blackish maroon or brown, labellum yellow veined with purple and bearing a white callus. Dorsal sepal free, oblongelliptic, erect to recurved; lateral sepals oblique at base, otherwise similar to dorsal sepal. Petals free, subporrect or spreading, similar to sepals, shorter and broader than sepals. Labellum free to base of column, trilobed, callose; lateral lobes oblong, rounded in front, free to base of column; mid-lobe flat; callus 2- or 3-ridged. Column clavate, lacking a column foot; anther cap conical, pollinia two, deeply sulcate, ovoid; stipe solitary, viscidium obscurely lunate. Ovary cylindrical, grooved. (PC).

{i}Sepals{/i} and {i}petals{/i} subequal, free, spreading. {i}Lip{/i} articulated to the foot of the column, 3-lobed; side lobes erect, parallel; front lobe oblong or rounded; disc with 2 or 3 parallel keels. {i}Column{/i} erect, equalling the side lobes of the lip, slightly curved, semiterete, with acute margins; base produced into a very short broad concave or slightly 2-lobed foot; anther-bed entire, scarcely prominent. {i}Anther{/i} terminal, operculate, incumbent, convex or crowned with an obtuse conical appendage, imperfectly 2-celled; pollinia 2 or 4, confluent in pairs, waxy, ovate, rounded, attached to a short broad stipes and gland. {i}Capsule{/i} oblong, without beak.

Sepals and petals subequal, free, spreading. Lip articulate to the foot of the column, 3-lobed; side lobes erect, parallel; middle lobe oblong or rounded; disc 2–3-keeled or lamellate. Column erect, equalling the side lobes of the lip, slightly curved, semiterete, with acute margins; base produced into a very short, broad, concave or slightly 2-lobed foot; clinandrium entire, scarcely prominent. Anther terminal, operculate, incumbent, convex or crowned with an obtuse conical appendage, imperfectly 2-celled; pollinia 2 or 4, confluent in pairs, waxy, ovate, rounded, attached to a short broad stipes and gland. Capsule oblong, without beak. —Epiphytic herbs. Stems tall, thickened or somewhat fusiform, leafy. Leaves distichous, long, plicate-veined. Peduncles terminal, branched. Flowers in lax panicles, rarely in racemes, pedicellate. Bracts small.

Ecology

Ansellia africana is epiphytic on trees in savanna woodland and forest margins and on doum palms (Hyphaene) near the coast, sometimes on rocks in inland localities from sea level to 2200 m. (PC).

Distribution

Ansellia is a monospecific genus, endemic to Africa and ranging from sub-Saharan Africa south to Natal. (PC).

Uses

According to Lawler (1984), Zulus used the roots of Ansellia to make unmarried women temporarily sterile and the stems as an aphrodisiac. Tribesmen of east Africa used a gum derived from pseudobulbs to glue feathers to arrows. Medicinally, plant parts have been used as antimalarials and emetics and to cure coughs, earaches, and even madness. Ansellia africana is available in the horticultural trade as both A. africana and A. gigantea. (AP).

Literature

in Bot. Reg. 30, sub t. 12 (1844); Rolfe in F.T.A. 7: 100 (1897); Summerh. in K.B. 1937: 461 (1937) & in F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 3: 214 (1968)

Benth. et Hook. f. Gen. Pl. iii. 537.

Bot. Reg. 1844, sub. t. 12 (1844); F.T.A. 7: 100.

in Bot. Reg. 30: sub t. 12 (1844). —Rolfe in F.T.A. 7: 100 (1897). —Summerhayes in Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1937: 461 (1937); in F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 3: 214 (1968).

Distribution Map

 
  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Southern Africa Botswana
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Namibia
  • Northern Provinces
  • Swaziland
  • West Tropical Africa Benin
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Gulf of Guinea Is.
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire

Included Species

  Bibliography

 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Zambesiaca
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical Africa
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of West Tropical Africa
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Capensis
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Capensis. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
WCS higher taxonomy
  • F All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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