‘Yellow orchid’ seen again in Fernkloof after 15 years

Acting on the excitement of finding the very rare and endangered ‘black orchid’, Acrolophia ustulata, for the first time in the eastern part of Fernkloof Nature Reserve on 21 November 2014, the ‘orchid group’ went up the zig-zag behind Voëlklip again to look for the yellow form of the orchid. 

Acrolophia ustulata comes in two colours, usually found in the same area, the yellow form comprising about 12% of populations.  Reaching the exposed rocky outcrop between Mt. Cyclopia and De Mond se Kop the search for the very small and elusive plant was made more difficult by a very cold and unpleasant southeaster.

Amazingly, the flowers of some plants which had been found originally, were still in a good condition after 3 weeks.  This time 12 ‘black orchids’ were located after a long search, and we were about to give up, when Eureka!  One single yellow Acrolophia ustulata was found on the very steep east-facing slope.  The old saying still rings true:  Fortune favours the brave!

Fran Jordaan

About roncorylus

He who wants the kernel must crack the nut
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2 Responses to ‘Yellow orchid’ seen again in Fernkloof after 15 years

  1. jobiska says:

    I love the enthusiasm. Well done the orchid hunters!

  2. Cliff Moran says:

    An exciting and significant achievement. Congratulations to all concerned on their perseverance and observational skills under such inclement circumstances!.

    With best wishes and thanks for another uplifting ‘post’.

    Cliff Moran

    Dr V C (Cliff) Moran PhD, DSc (h.c.)

    Professor Emeritus and Life Fellow

    University of Cape Town

    Tel: +27 28 313 0567

    Cell: +27 82 740 7321

    E-mail: vcmoran@iafrica.com

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