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Family:  Orchidaceae

Scientific name: Eulophia angolensis

Authority: (Rchb.f.) Summerh.

Synonyms:  Cymbidium angolense Rchb.f., Eulophia buchananii (Rchb.f.) Bolus, Lissochilus angolensis (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f., Lissochilus antunesii Rolfe, Lissochilus buchanani Rchb.f., Lissochilus latus Rolfe , Lissochilus lindleyana (Rchb. f.) Schltr., Lissochilus paludicolus Rchb.f., Lissochilus platypterus Rchb.f., Lissochilus validus Rendle

Zulu name: amabelejongosi

Other name: vlei orchid

Plant description: E. angolensis is an orchid that grows up to 1 m in height. It has fleshy lance-shaped leaves and densely packed strongly and sweetly scented yellow flowers with red staining. This orchid can be found ground from the north-eastern parts of Eastern Cape through the coastal parts of KwaZulu Natal and inland lowveld Mpumalanga to tropical regions of Africa. It occurs in moist grassland habitat.


  • The roots are used to make a tonic. 
  • The roots are used to treat ear infections.
  • The roots are used to make a decoction that is used to treat venereal diseases and genital warts.
  • The roots are used to make an infusion that is used as a love charm emetic that is consumed by young men. 
  • The roots are used to make an infusion that is taken as enema.
  • The plant is cultivated as a beautiful exotic ornamental plant.

Safety precaution:

Using traditional medicine responsibly can enhance your overall health and well-being. Misuse and abuse can lead to complications. You can inquire about the correct use of traditional medicine from a knowledgeable herbalist and practitioner. You can also visit or email: to learn more about traditional medicine

References and further reading: 

  • Chinsamy, M., Finnie, J.F. and Van Staden, J., 2011. The ethnobotany of South African medicinal orchids. South African Journal of Botany, 77(1), pp.2-9.
  • Hall, A.V., 1965. Studies of the South African species of Eulophia (No. 5). National Botanic Gardens of South Africa.
  • Hulme, M.M., 1954. Wild flowers of Natal. Shuter & Shooter, Pietermaritzburg. 
  • Ortúñez, E., Gamarra, R., Gestal, S., Hernando, Á. and Galán Cela, P., 2020. Revision of Eulophia (Orchidaceae) in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. Plant Ecology and Evolution, 153(3), pp.399-426.
  • Peter, C.I. and Johnson, S.D., 2013. Generalized food deception: colour signals and efficient pollen transfer in bee-pollinated species of Eulophia (Orchidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 171(4), pp.713-729.
  • Summerhayes, V.S., 1958. African orchids: XXVI. Kew Bulletin, 13(2), pp.257-281.

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