Disa pulchra

Rogan Roth Roth@ukzn.ac.za
Wed, 26 Oct 2005 00:00:31 PDT
Dear Disaphiles,

>>>I finished adding some pictures of wild Disa pictures taken by
Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape, South Africa to the Disa wiki

Many thanks to Cameron and Mary Sue for adding more Disa pictures to
the wiki.

Disa pulchra is a fascinating plant indeed and is a wonderful example
of one plant imitating another (Batesian mimicry). In the wild D.pulchra
flowers at the same time and occupies the same habitats as Watsonia
densiflora and indeed looks very similar when in flower. The story goes
that pollinators attracted to the Watsonia flowers mistakenly pollinate
the disas as well, but receive no pollen or nectar rewards in return. As
far as is known the watsonias derive no benefit from this relationship
at all, but the disas undoubtably do as sooner or later the insects will
be fooled by other Disa flowers and cross-pollination will take place.

It's a fascinating world we live in!
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