Disperis

Disperis is a genus in the Orchidaceae family found in Africa, India and New Guinea. These orchids have underground tubers and are called 'Granny Bonnet' orchids since the petals are joined to the median sepal to form a helmet-shaped hood. The side sepals have a noticeable spur or pouch.


Disperis capensis occurs in open well-drained fynbos between the Cape peninsula and Port Elizabeth. It has purple to magenta or occasionally white or green flowers with the upper petals forming a spurred cap or hood and the lateral petals long and narrow with recurved tips. Photo taken by Cameron McMaster at Fernkloof near Hermanus.

Disperis capensis, Cameron McMaster

Disperis cardiophora is a tuberous geophyte about 20 cm. tall. It has one rounded basal leaf and greenish to pink hooded flowers. It is found in moist mountain grassland in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Photos by Cameron McMaster and Mary Sue Ittner taken in the Eastern Cape. The last four were taken at Maclear.

Disperis cardiophora, Cameron McMasterDisperis cardiophora, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis cardiophora, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis cardiophora, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerDisperis cardiophora, Maclear, Mary Sue Ittner

Disperis concinna grows in marshy grassland from KwaZulu-Natal South Africa to Zimbabwe. It is a slender plant growing from 10 to 50 cm with 1 to 4 small, pale to deep pink flowers. The first two photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Aurora Peak in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The third and fourth were taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller at Maclear in the Eastern Cape, January 2010.

Disperis concinna, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis concinna, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis concinna, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerDisperis concinna, Maclear, Bob Rutemoeller

Disperis lindleyana is found in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in montane forests. It grows to 30 cm. high and has one heart-shaped leaf that is inserted halfway up the stem and white hooded flowers. It is summer blooming. Photos by Cameron McMaster.

Disperis lindleyana, Cameron McMasterDisperis lindleyana, Moonstone, Cameron McMaster

Disperis oxyglossa is found in damp grasslands at 1400-2500 meters from the Southern Cape Province to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It has one to five pinkish purple flowers with green spots on the lower half of the petals. The side sepals are spreading with the spurs facing backwards and with long pointed tips. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Aurora Peak.

Disperis oxyglossa, Cameron McMasterDisperis oxyglossa, Cameron McMasterDisperis oxyglossa, Cameron McMaster

Disperis renibractea Schltr. is found in grassland from 1400 to 2700 meters in the summer rainfall area of Eastern South Africa. It has a solitary roundish leaf and greenish, pinkish or brownish one sided flowers. The inside of the hood is spotted purple. It blooms December to March. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster and Mary Sue Ittner at Satansnek Pass in the Eastern Cape and by Cameron McMaster at Sentinel Peak in KwaZulu-Natal.

Disperis renibractea, Satansnek, Cameron McMasterDisperis renibractea, Satansnek, Cameron McMasterDisperis renibractea, Satansnek, Mary Sue IttnerDisperis renibractea, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis renibractea, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMaster

Photos taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller January 2010 at Maclear.

Disperis renibractea, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerDisperis renibractea leaf, Maclear, Bob Rutemoeller

Disperis stenoplectron Rchb.f. is found in grassland in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal from 1700 to 2200 meters. It has dark purple and green or pale white to pink flowers and blooms January to April. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Sentinel Peak in KwaZulu-Natal.

Disperis stenoplectron, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis stenoplectron, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMaster

Disperis tysonii Bolus grows on mountain grassland from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to Mpumalanga. It grows from 15 to 40 cm. and has alternate ovate to lanceolate leaves and pink to purplish red marked green flowers in a dense one-sided spike. It blooms February to April. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Aurora Peak and Mary Sue Ittner at Naude's Nek in the Eastern Cape.

Disperis tysonii, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis tysonii, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMasterDisperis tysonii, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue IttnerDisperis tysonii, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue Ittner

Disperis wealei Rchb.f. is found mainly on grassy seeps or flushes from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to the Northern Province. This species has ovate clasping leaves and one to four white flowers with green markings in a lax spike. It grows from 5 to 30 cm. tall and flowers from January to April. Photos taken in the Eastern Cape at Naude's Nek and Tordoon by Cameron McMaster.

Disperis wealei, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterDisperis wealei, Tordoon, Cameron McMasterDisperis wealei, Tordoon, Cameron McMaster

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Page last modified on February 17, 2011, at 05:39 PM