Ansellia africana are discovered on the island of Bioko (Fernando Po) in West Africa, this extremely volatile orchid is now widespread throughout tropical Africa. There are reports of encountering it in northern Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, northern Botswana, Namibia...This orchid is an epiphyte, which means that the whole plant, roots and all, grow above ground, attached to the branches of trees. The roots, which anchor the plant to the tree, are specially adapted to absorb water and nutrients very quickly. An unusual feature are the needle-like roots pointing upwards which form in a dense mass around the pseudobulbs and catch the rotting leaves and detritus upon which the plant feeds.The plant flowers during the dry winter months in a mass of yellow or greenish yellow blooms, which can be lightly or heavily marked with brown spots. In the wild, plants live for a long time and can become very large, some estimated to weigh over a tonne.