~Polystachya tesselata Lindley 1862 - See Polystachya mauritiana Sprengel 1826 SECTION Polystachya Photo courtesy of Guy Ramette Vovan and his Gabon Orchids Website


Common Name The Tesselated Polystachya

Flower Size .4" [1 cm]

Found in Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Rwanda, Zaire, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cape Province, Natal, and Transvaal states of South Africa as well as Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion and the Seychelles as a large sized, robust, hot to cool growing epiphyte in riverine forests and wet woodlands or occasional lithophyte at elevations up to 1650 meters with conical or almost round pseudobulbs carrying 3 to 5, oblanceolate, minutely bilobed apically, dark green often with a purplish tinge to the leaves and blooms on a branched, 20" [50 cm] long, many flowered inflorescence enveoloped by several papery bracts occuring in the fall with slightly pubescent flowers. P tessalata is very close to P concreta in flower shape and is often cited as a synonym of but, it is distinctly different in color and size, so I keep it separate until more information comes to light.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orchids of Malawi La Croix 1983; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996; Field Guide to the Ethiopian Orchids Demissew, Cribb & Rasmussen 2004