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Rare orchid species found in SA brings hope to Cape Floristic Region
After the Cape Flower show was postponed earlier this year due to the Western Cape’s drought, some plant enthusiasts have become despondent and concerned about the well-being of the province’s flora.
However, adding a glimmer of hope amid the myriad of negativity and decline that our global environment is currently facing, a rare orchid species has been identified in the Cape region.
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) says that the new orchid species has been discovered in the Kogelberg Mountains of the Cape Floristic Region.
The plant, named Satyrium liltvedianum, was first discovered in November 2009 after a veld fire in the Kogelberg Mountains – which is one of the most “species-rich” areas of the Cape Floristic Region.
“Fires stimulate flowering of orchids and other geophytic plant species in the region,” says SANBI.
According to SANBI, the new species resembled several species of Satyrium, but differed in various aspects. It shows a “maroon colouration of the stem, sheathing leaves and white flowers” and is characterised by the size, shape and orientation of sepals and lateral petals.