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 (L.) Sw. occurs in open well-drained fynbos and sandstone seeps between the Cape peninsula and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Growing to 50 cm with a softly hairy stem, it flowers July to September. It has two lance shaped leaves and a solitary purple to magenta or occasionally white or green flower with the upper petals forming a spurred cap or hood and the lateral petals long and narrow with recurved tips. The first photo taken by Cameron McMaster at Fernkloof near Hermanus. The last two photos from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.
Disperis cardiophora Harv. 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 circumflexa (L.) T.Durand & Schinz occurs from Namaqualand to Riversdale, South Africa. Growing to 25 cm and flowering in early spring, this species has two narrowly lance shaped leaves on the hairless stem and greenish yellow flowers with dark green markings and a horizontal boat shaped lip. Photo from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.
Disperis concinna Schltr. 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, Maclear, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The third and fourth were taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller also at Maclear in the Eastern Cape, January 2010.
Disperis cooperi Harv. is found in damp or marshy grassland from KwaZulu-Natal to Mpumalanga. Growing to 40 cm, it has pink to purple flowers that are tinged green and a deep round hood. The lateral sepals are whitish and paler pink on the inner surface. It flowers February to March. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Aurora Peak, Maclear, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Disperis lindleyana Rchb.f. 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 oxyglossa Bolus 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 paludosa Harv. ex Lindl. is a widespread species that occurs from Worcester in the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal South Africa where it grows in wet peaty soils and marshy sandstone slopes. It flowers in early summer (November to January), especially the first year after a fire, and grows to 50 cm tall. Flowers are dark pink marked with white and green. Photo from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.
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 stenoplectron Rchb.f. is found in grassland in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal South Africa from 1700 to 2200 meters. It has dark purple and green or pale white to pink flowers and flowers January to April. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Sentinel Peak in KwaZulu-Natal.
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 flowers February to April. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Aurora Peak and Mary Sue Ittner at Naude's Nek in the Eastern Cape.
Disperis villosa (L.f.) Sw. is a widespread species that grows on granite and clay slopes from Clanwilliam in the Northwest Cape to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Growing to 10 cm and rarely taller and flowering in early spring (August to September), it has two elliptical lower leaves, a hairy stem and 1-4 creamy yellow flowers with a slipper shaped lip. Photos from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.
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.