Diaphananthe millarii

Posted on 16 January by Carl Vernon in Flora

Diaphananthe millarii

Diaphananthe millarii previouslt known as Mystacidium millari is a rare orchid endemic to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.   It is known from near Durban (Pooley 1993 Wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal), while in the Cape, I know of only one forest in the Komga district where millari occurs.  It is not for looking as to have one in one's collection is an ambition of many an orchid collector.    However, all of them are 'cagey' when asked for details.    Year ago, the late Eric Dodd had a plant and described the habitat where millari was 'common'.   It was in Syzgyium trees growing in the riparian forest strip in the grasslands between Komga and  Haga Haga.   In  return for my giving a talk at his botanical  workshops,  Eric promised to take me to the site, but alas this never transpired.       For years I've looked for millari in vain untill at last I was taken to a place where they were relatively common.    It was a south-east facing forest patch, a habitat that is occurs widely in suitable places the East London region.    Even given the fact that when it is not flowering, millairi plants are difficult to distinguish from other species of Mystacidium, it is surprising that millariii is so rare .

The picture of the millarii shown here was taken in an East London garden.  For further notes on Diaphananthe see the blog on D. zanthopolinia

 




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