Saturday, 26 September 2009

African orchid on Benin's stamp

Republic of Benin have been issued stamp series with theme " Orchidee Africaine" on 1995.The species  depicted are  Angraecum sesquipedale in 40f, Polystachya virginea in 50f, Disa uniflora in 75f, Ansellia africana in 100f, Angaraecum eichlerianum in 135f, Jumellea confusa in 200f.

Angraecum sesquipedale , also called Darwin's orchid, Christmas orchid, Star of Bethlehem orchid, and King of the Angraecums, is an epiphytic orchid of the genus Angraecum ,endemic to Madagascar at altitudes below 100 m near the east coast of the island, and on trees placed at the edge of forests. The orchid was first discovered by the French botanist Louis-Marie Aubert du Petit-Thouars in 1798. It is a monocot with monopodial growth and can get to a height of 1 meter. Flower size around 20–40 centimeters long and 6–7 cm wide. The orchid lives in an environment with heavy rainfall, up to 150 in (380 cm) per year. There is no dry season so the growing season is continuous.

Polystachya virginea is one orchid species of the genus polystachya. Polystachya, is a flowering plant genus in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). This rather distinct genus was described by William Jackson Hooker in 1824 and is the only member of the tribe Polystachyeae. It contains about 100 species.

Disa uniflora is one of the best-known species orchids of the genus Disa, from the Orchidoideae subfamily. It is found in South Africa, Cape Province. The Orchid grows near waterfalls, streamlets - Actually around moist places. The species blooms during the summer months. The blooms are showy, usually red colored but sometimes they may be pink, yellow or rarely white.

Ansellia africana is a monotypic genus of orchid, commonly known as African Ansellia or Leopard Orchid due to only has one species.This orchid is native to tropical and South Africa, found alongside coasts and rivers in the canopy of trees, usually at elevations lower than 700 m (occasionally up to 2,200 m). It is a large, perennial epiphyte, or at times a terrestrial plant, growing in sometimes spectacular clumps, attached to the branches of tall trees. The white, needle-like, aerial roots are characteristic for this orchid.The three-lobed lip grows into three yellow projections. The tepals are yellow or greenish yellow, lightly or heavily marked with brown spots.

Angraecum eichlerianum is one of species of the genus Angraecum. This species is found from Nigeria to Angola. They have divided in two subspecies: Angraecum eichlerianum var. curvicalcaratum (Cameroon) and Angraecum eichlerianum var. eichlerianum (Nigeria to Angola).

Jumellea confusa is one of orchid species of the genus Jumellea. Jumellea has many species, around 40 species native to Madagascar, the Comoros, the Mascarenes, and eastern Africa.

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