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 Ch-D are found on this page.
Disa chrysostachya is a species found in damp grassland and marshy areas from Knysna to Mpumalanga. It is known as the red or yellow torch orchid and has a spike-like inflorescence of densely packed yellow to red or pink flowers. Photos #1-3 by Cameron McMaster. Photo #4-5 by Bob Rutemoeller. Photo 6 from Christopher Whitehouse. The last four were taken at Gaika's Kop January 2010 and January 2012.
Disa cooperi is found on stony mountain grassland from 1500 to 2200 meters in the Drakensberg Mountains. It grows to 1 meter and has pink flowers with a lime-green lip in a dense spike. Flowers are intensely fragrant. Photos 1-3 taken by Mary Sue Ittner January 2010 near Maclear. Photos 3-6 taken by Cameron McMaster, Aurora Peak, Maclear, February 2008.
Disa cornuta is found in damp but well drained grassland up to 2400 meters from the Western Cape to Zimbabwe. It grows to 1 m tall and has overlapping crowded leaves. The basal ones are purple-spotted. Flowers are in a dense inflorescence and purple and silvery green. The lateral sepals and lip are greenish yellow. Photos taken January 2010 near Maclear by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller.
Disa crassicornis, a deciduous species found in damp grassland, or forest margins and rock ledges in the Eastern Cape, Transkei, Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal, is summer growing. It has large sweetly scented white to cream flowers with purple or pink markings. It is a very attractive species, but difficult to cultivate. Photos by Cameron McMaster. Photo 2 was taken at Mt. Kubusie in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape. Photos 3-6 were taken at Aurora Peak, Maclear, February 2008.
Disa cylindrica is species that grows from 7 to 34 cm and has yellow green flowers that are almost spurless and blooms after fire. It is found in seeps or damp sandstone slopes from the western Cape to the Eastern Cape (Tulbagh to Cape Peninsula to Humansdorp.) First three photos by Cameron McMaster taken near Napier in the Overberg. Fourth photo by Christopher Whitehouse, taken at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve near Stanford.