Disa Five

Disa is a genus in the family Orchidaceae and is mostly found in southern and eastern Africa. Species are deciduous or evergreen terrestrial plants with both tuberous and stoloniferous root systems. They are found from sea level to about 7000 feet. Species O-R are found on this page.


Disa species A-Ce - Disa species Ch-F - Disa species G-N - Disa species S-Z - Disa index


Disa obtusa Lindl. is found in damp, sandy areas from sea level to 1000 m in the Southwest and Southern Cape. Growing to 40 cm, it has cauline, linear leaves and white to brown or purple, often spotted flowers on an erect slender, many flowered inflorescence. It flowers from September to October, after fires. Photo from Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Disa obtusa, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Disa ocellata Bolus is found in wet peaty soils from the Cape Peninsula to the Swartberg Mountains. Growing up to 30 cm and flowering in summer the first year after a fire, this species has flowers that are white with brown purple markings and a small rounded spur. The photo is from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Disa ocellata, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Disa oreophila Bolus is found in the Drakensberg Mountains and grows from 10 to 35 cm and has white or pink flowers that are lightly or heavily spotted purple. Photos from Cameron McMaster, Mary Sue Ittner, and Bob Rutemoeller taken at Naude's Nek January 2010.

Disa oreophila, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterDisa oreophila, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterDisa oreophila, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue IttnerDisa oreophila, Naude's Nek, Bob Rutemoeller

Disa oreophila ssp. erecta is found on shallow soil over rocks and on damp grassy slopes and is a Drakensberg endemic. It has large flowers.

Disa oreophila ssp. oreophila hangs or curves out from damp crevices and grassy slopes and has much smaller flowers. Photos of this subspecies taken by Cameron McMaster and Bob Rutemoeller January 2010, Maclear.

Disa oreophila ssp. oreophila, Maclear, Cameron McMasterDisa oreophila, Maclear, Bob Rutemoeller

Disa ovalifolia Sond. is found on sandstone slopes from the Cedarberg to the cold Bokkeveld Mountains. Growing to 20 cm, it has a few flowers in a close raceme. The sepals are green and the lip brown. It flowers in spring (September to October). Photo from Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Disa ovalifolia, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Disa patula Sond. is found on montane grassland from the Eastern Cape to Zimbabwe. It has pale to bright pink flowers with purplish spots and a round pointed spur. The first photo was taken on Mt. Kubusie in the Amatola Mountains, Eastern Cape. The last three photos were taken in Maclear February 2008. Photos by Cameron McMaster.

Disa patula, Mt. Kubusie, Cameron McMasterDisa patula, Maclear, Cameron McMasterDisa patula, Maclear, Cameron McMasterDisa patula, Maclear, Cameron McMaster

Disa polygonoides Lindl. is found on moist or marshy grassland from Humansdorp to the Northern Province. It grows to 70 cm and has reddish orange flowers in a dense spike. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner January 2010 near Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape.

Disa polygonoides, Morgan Bay, Mary Sue IttnerDisa polygonoides, Morgan Bay, Bob RutemoellerDisa polygonoides, Morgan Bay, Mary Sue IttnerDisa polygonoides, Morgan Bay, Mary Sue IttnerDisa polygonoides, Morgan Bay, Bob Rutemoeller

Disa porrecta Sw. is found in grassland up to 2000 m in the Eastern Cape and Lesotho. It grows from 20 to 60 cm and has down facing bright red flowers with yellow petals and lip. The spur is large and points up. This species blooms in summer. Photos 1-5 taken January 2010 at Balloch by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner. The last photo from Cameron McMaster was taken at Andriesberg.

Disa porrecta habitat, Balloch, Bob RutemoellerDisa porrecta bud, Balloch, Bob RutemoellerDisa porrecta, Balloch, Bob RutemoellerDisa porrecta, Balloch, Mary Sue IttnerDisa porrecta, Balloch, Mary Sue IttnerDisa porrecta, Andriesberg, Cameron McMaster

Disa pulchra Sond. is a deciduous species from the Eastern Cape, Transkei and KwaZulu-Natal found on stony grassland. It is summer growing with bright pink flowers. Photos from Cameron McMaster taken in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape including a close-up showing the detail of a flower.

Disa pulchra detail, Cameron McMasterDisa pulchra, Cameron McMasterDisa pulchra, Cameron McMaster

Disa purpurascens Bolus is a winter-growing, summer-dormant species that grows on acidic sandstone mountain slopes. It blooms in late spring/early summer, after its leaves have withered for the season. Photographed in Phillipskop Mountain Reserve by Christopher Whitehouse.

Disa purpurascens, Christopher Whitehouse

Disa racemosa L.f. is a winter rainfall species that grows to 1 m. It is found in marshes, flats and hills from the Western Cape to the southeastern Cape (Bokkeveld and Cape Peninsula to Grahamstown). It has lanceolate leaves and 2 to 8 bright rose-pink flowers with darker veins in a lax raceme. It blooms late spring to summer, usually after fire. The first photo by Rod Saunders. The next photos from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Disa racemosa, Rod SaundersDisa racemosa, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-VlokDisa racemosa, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Disa species A-Ce - Disa species Ch-F - Disa species G-N - Disa species S-Z - Disa index


Return to the PBS wiki Photographs And Information page
Page last modified on August 07, 2017, at 11:19 AM