is one of a number of plant
species which are presently being tested for their
suitability to be grown as Green Roof
plants in the Durban region that have initially shown good results.
occur naturally within a radius of 50 km of the Durban
speciosa is a very common terrestrial orchid found growing as a
pioneer plant in full sun and partial
shade on road cuttings, road verges and
derelict land throughout the Durban area.
speciosa is a medium sized
spreading terrestrial orchid with fleashy lanceolate leaves and tuberous pseudobulbs from
which the root system grows. They
reproduce naturally by
seed which germinates readily under ideal conditions.
speciosa propogate readily from back
pseudobulbs, large numbers can easily be grown
from seed sown in beds on the ground provided ideal growing conditions
are provided. They mature to flowering size in a very short period of
plants are being grown primarily for their neat growth habit and very
speciosa plants have proven to be
very drought resistant.
Disease and pest resistance
speciosa the leaves are eaten by
the larvae of a small yellow beetle which can cause considerable damage
to the plant,. They are also very susceptible to bacterial rot and
fungus attack during long periods of very overcast and wet weather
Suitability as Green Roof plants
speciosa plants are valuable in
plantings that are going to get the very minimum
or no water in winter in combinations with other plants that do
not have a
very vigorous nature. Green roofs with shallow low nutrient
soils provide an ideal growing environment for these very attractive
Biodiversity value in the Green
attract carpenter bees which are probably the pollinator of this plant.
Cautions and precautions in the Green Roof
must be taken to ensure good drainage and to prevent overwatering