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Orchidaceae, Ancistrochilus thomsonianus – Gabon, Central West Africa

December 6, 2011

Ancistrochilus thomsonianus is one of two species in the Ancistrochilus genus. The name is derived from the Greek words ankistron (“hook”) and cheilos (“lip”), referring to the form of the lip. This species can be found distributed through the humid tropics of Central West Africa at elevations between 500 and 1100  meters. I took the photo a few weeks ago in Libreville, Gabon. Here are some of my other posts on Orchids.

55 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 10:08:48 pm

    I love love LOVE orchids — only wish they could bloom (more than once) while indoors!

    Spectacular photo…


    • December 14, 2011 10:08:14 am

      They can but you must choose the right place in the right room at the right temp. AND choose the right orchid. I have four moth orchids which bloom every year two of them multiple times, also a Ludisia discolor (Jewel Orchid).They all sit in a tray and I water from below except for the jewel and in the summer they sit in a north window and in the winter on a west window. The jewel orchid usually flowers. Sometimes I give them orchid food. Never overwater, better to neglect than that. Have never repotted even.

      My room temperature is probably around 18 degrees centigrade between the curtain and the double glazed window.

      My orchid fiend friend says people like me who aren’t fanatical ( like he is) should buy their orchids in big supermarkets where they will come from growers who specialise in the easiest orchids to get to flower for sale, easy for them should nmean easy for you!.

      here is my picture of my 5 yr old orchid:

      xx Alison lemon a day

      • December 14, 2011 10:08:31 pm

        Yes, I find a common mistake people make is throwing their orchids away after they’ve stopped blooming, either thinking they only bloom once, or not wanting to take care of it until it blooms again. It’s a pity, because much of the reward of growing an orchid about much more then looking at an attractive flower. Modern society is driven by instant gratification.

    • December 15, 2011 10:08:29 pm

      orchids are actually the easiest plants to carry for at home.

  2. December 13, 2011 10:08:49 pm

    Stunning. It amazes me how different regions grow variations of the same family.


  3. December 13, 2011 10:08:49 pm

    That is an interesting look, the “hook lip”. Thank you for sharing.

  4. December 13, 2011 10:08:17 pm

    Beautiful picture! Nice click!

  5. December 13, 2011 10:08:30 pm

    What a rare and beautiful species. I am fascinated by orchids and have a small collection of my own, that brings me much pleasure. Thanks for sharing.

    • December 13, 2011 10:08:23 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more.


  6. December 13, 2011 10:08:34 pm

    So beautiful!

  7. December 13, 2011 10:08:42 pm

    very pretty!

  8. December 13, 2011 10:08:43 pm

    What a beautiful snapshot! 🙂

  9. December 13, 2011 10:08:47 pm


  10. December 13, 2011 10:08:19 pm

    A very well composed photo. Thank you.

    • December 13, 2011 10:08:21 pm

      Thank you for the kind words. Please visit again soon. I’ll have more West African orchid photos up.


  11. December 13, 2011 10:08:48 pm

    So beautiful..

  12. Anonymous permalink
    December 13, 2011 10:08:49 pm

    we forget religious part of our daily life.because we r so so so much busy. but the main purpose of our muslim s life to earn allah s satisfaction. so we should take namaz everyday regularly.

  13. December 13, 2011 10:08:23 pm

    Beautiful flower and great picture. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  14. December 13, 2011 10:08:32 pm

    Orchids are one of my favorite flowers; these are absolutely beautiful.

  15. December 13, 2011 10:08:50 pm

    i love orchids…beautiful! thanks for sharing.

  16. December 13, 2011 10:08:29 pm

    These are such beautiful flowers. Thanks for sharing the photo and the facts.

  17. December 13, 2011 10:08:42 pm

    Awesome post, although it makes me “green with envy” to see you freshly pressed, hehe! I’d love to share the many photos I’ve taken of flowers and insects – especially butterflies and caterpillars. Cool pic and congrats 🙂

  18. December 14, 2011 10:08:05 am

    Beautiful! I took a trip to Kenya a few years ago and was amazed at the variety of plant life!

  19. December 14, 2011 10:08:33 am

    just beautiful! Have to travel far to get but def a beautiful view.

  20. December 14, 2011 10:08:31 am

    Beautiful picture..:-)

  21. December 14, 2011 10:08:38 am

    Beautiful Shot!!

  22. Anonymous permalink
    December 14, 2011 10:08:07 am

    What a gorgeous picture! Amazing nature!

  23. December 14, 2011 10:08:34 am

    What a stunning photo! I only today viewed the blooming 300 pound Tiger orchid at Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden. Just posted photos on my blog if you have time to take a look 🙂 I heart orchids!!!

    • December 14, 2011 10:08:42 am

      Thanks for visiting. I’ll take a look at your Tiger orchid photo, sounds incredible. Check back here if you want to see more West African orchid photos. I’m in the process of uploading some new ones now.


    • December 14, 2011 10:08:36 am

      What’s your blog URL?

  24. December 14, 2011 10:08:31 am

    I am a watercolor artists and simply love painting orchids..I loved your Tiger Orchid photo.

  25. December 14, 2011 10:08:03 am

    In Indonesia many orchid as Black Orchid. Nice info for me.

  26. December 14, 2011 10:08:35 pm

    nice use of manual focus… if i am getting it right 🙂

  27. December 14, 2011 10:08:37 pm

    nice use of manual focus… if i am getting it right 🙂

  28. melissakoski permalink
    December 14, 2011 10:08:13 pm

    Very beautiful!

  29. December 14, 2011 10:08:28 pm

    Cool and unique blog you’ve crafted here! Nice job!

  30. December 14, 2011 10:08:33 pm

    What delicate beauty! . . . Thank you for sharing!

  31. December 14, 2011 10:08:13 pm

    Hi Spencer,

    Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Could I use some of your photos on flowers in my blog? I’ll provide a link to your blog along with the photos. And your passion for your job is amazing and inspiring.

    • December 14, 2011 10:08:24 pm

      Thank you for visiting, and for the compliments on my photos. Yes, you can use some for your site. Please link back to me so I can know when to check it out…

  32. Northern Narratives permalink
    December 14, 2011 10:08:36 pm

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your photo is absolutely beautiful!

    • December 14, 2011 10:08:48 pm

      Thank you for visiting… Congratulations to you too, I see that you were freshly pressed as well. Great looking blog you have, I’ll drop in and check it out periodically…

  33. December 14, 2011 10:08:38 pm

    I liked the background information you gave on the nomenclature of this orchid and what it meant. Thanks!

  34. December 14, 2011 10:08:17 pm

    beautiful! if only i could keep orchids alive! 😦

  35. aFrankAngle permalink
    December 15, 2011 10:08:52 am

    Orchids are timeless.

  36. December 18, 2011 10:08:45 am

    Nice photos, I would like to see more photos from you! I like photography but I’m not good as you 😦
    visit here:

  37. December 20, 2011 10:08:34 pm

    Do they really have this grey/blue color?

  38. December 22, 2011 10:08:13 pm

    Thats somewhere that I want to be

  39. January 3, 2012 10:08:03 pm

    Nice post!
    Can we use couple paragraphes for our site ?

    • January 3, 2012 10:08:43 pm

      Thanks for visiting. Sure, you can reference this article on you’re site.

  40. January 3, 2012 10:08:20 pm

    Stunning pic. I love closeups especially of something as gorgeous as the orchid (or whatever flower that is)

  41. orchid-africa permalink
    November 4, 2013 10:08:16 pm

    Sorry, but the plant pictured is not Ancistrochilus thomsonianus. See

  42. November 4, 2013 10:08:28 pm

    Thanks for the comment. I’m not an orchid expert, but comparing this photo with the one you provided a link to they do not look exactly the same, but are quite similar. The one photographed above looks a lot more like Ancistrochilus thomsonianus then A. rothschildianus, which is the only other known species in this Genus. Do you think the orchid i’ve photographed is an entirely different genus?

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