!Bonatea speciosa [L.f.] Willd. 1805 Photo by Scott McGregor

Flower Closeup Photo by Eric Hunt and his Orchid Photos Website

Side View of Flower Photo by Rogier van Vugt and his Orchid webpage

Plant and Flowers in situ Photos by Cameron McMaster


Common Name The Beautiful Bonatea

Flower Size 2" [5 cm]

Found in Mozambique, Cape Province and Natal States of South Africa as a medium to large sized, warm to cool growing terrestrial species is found in Africa in coastal bush, open deciduous woodlands and forest edges up to 1200 meters in elevation with woolly, cylindrical tubers from which arise leafy stems carrying lanceolate or ovate, basally clasping leaves and has a terminal, 16 to 40" [40 to 100 cm] long, racemose inflorescence with densely many [15] flowers scented of spice that can occur in the spring and summer.

As the plant is growing, water and fertilize often and give moderate shade but as the leaves die off less or no water and fertilizer is required until the new growth appears. They are often found on or near the coast and are always found in sandy soil.

Synonyms Bonatea boltonii Harv. 1860; Bonatea densiflora Sond. 1846; Habenaria boltonii Harv. 1860; Habenaria bonatea Pfitzer 1888; Habenaria bonatea Rchb. f. 1881; Habenaria densiflora (Sond.) Rchb.f. 1849; Habenaria robusta N.E.Br. 1885; *Orchis speciosa L.f.1782

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as Habenaria bonatea; An Introduction to the South African Orchids Schelpe 1960; Die Orchideen #5 17-20 tafel 6 Rudolph Schlechter 1971 photo fide; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 5 257- 320 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1974 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 47 #11 1978 photofide; AOS Bulletin Vol 51 #9 1982 as B densiflora postage stamp fide; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982 photo fide; Illustrated Encylopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1982; Schlechteriana Vol 2 No 1 1991 photo not = B antennifera; AOS Bulletin Vol 62 No 3 1993 photo fide; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1993; AOS Bulletin Vol 64 No 1 1995 photo fide; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997 photo fide; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 1 Pope 1995; AOS Bulletin Vol 67 No 11 1998 drawing fide; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999 drawing/photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 69 No 6 2000 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 65 #2 2001 photo fide; Botanica's Orchids Laurel Glen 2002; Floras Orchids Nash & La Croix 2005;