Habenaria soyauxii Kraenzl.
Macrura walleri (Rchb.f.) Szlach. & Sawicka
Habenaria walleri is a terrestrial orchid with stout erect stems 40 - 80cm tall, arising from fleshy, tuberous roots[
The roots are a popular food, being harvested from the wild for local use. They are often sold in local and urban markets[
]. The plants are also grown as ornamentals.
The plant is locally common, but is becoming increasingly rare due to over collecting. Harvesting of orchid tubers destroys the whole plant and is thus an unsustainable harvesting method which should be discouraged. To maintain wild populations, studies on domestication are urgently needed[
Tropical Africa - scattered from Guinea to Sudan and Kenya, south to Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.
Swampy grasslands with scattered Acacia, at elevations from 1,000 - 2,000 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The tubers can be stored in a cool dry place for several weeks[
Tubers - cooked. They are peeled, cooked and eaten like potatoes[
]. They can be peeled, washed, pounded and baked into edible cakes[
]. The tubers can be up to 4cm long and 2cm in diameter[
The roots are pounded and soaked in cold water. The resulting liquid is used in the treatment of stomach-ache[
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