Disa hircicornis Rchb. f.

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Disa hircicornis

Photo: Margaret Westrop
Zomba Plateau, Malawi

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Synonyms: Disa amblyopetala Schltr.
Disa culveri Schltr.
Disa laeta Rchb. f.
Common names:
Frequency: Local and occasional
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb, 30-60 cm tall. Leaves usually 2 on a separate sterile shoot,semi-erect, narrowly elliptic to linear, up to 30 cm long, folded along the length. Leaves along the fertile shoot, lanceolate, 5-20 cm long, mostly sheathing, mottled or barred red at the base. Inflorescence 6-20 cm long, densely 20-70-flowered; bracts as tall or taller than the flowers, lanceolate with apices often reflexed. Flowers facing down at an angle of c. 45°, deep, dusty purple to purple-red. Dorsal sepal forming a conical hood, 4-6 mm with slender ascending spur, 8-13 mm long, sharply curving back in the middle. Lateral sepals spreading, 7.5 mm long, oblong. Petals erect, 4-5.5 mm long. Lip pendent, linear to narrowly elliptic, 4-5.5 mm long.
Notes: This species can still be found in the East of the country but, although this species has been recorded from both Central and Southern divisions, the records are all at least 50 years old and populations from these locations have most likely not survived the influences of man.
Derivation of specific name: hircicornis: with goat-like horns, presumably referring to the shape of the spur.
Habitat: In wet grassland and marshy areas.
Altitude range: (metres) 1500 - 1800 m
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E,S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 12 October 2011

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 222 - 223. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 321. (Includes a picture).

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 56.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 180.

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 123. (Includes a picture).

McMurtry, D., Grobler,L., Grobler, J. & Burns, S. (2008). Field Guide to the ORCHIDS of Northern South Africa and Swaziland Umdaus Press, PO Box 11059 Hatfield 0028 South Africa Pages 182 - 183. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 84.

Other sources of information about Disa hircicornis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Disa hircicornis
Flora of Mozambique: Disa hircicornis
Flora of Zambia: Disa hircicornis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Disa hircicornis
African Plant Database: Disa hircicornis
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Disa hircicornis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Disa hircicornis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Disa hircicornis
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Disa hircicornis
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Disa hircicornis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Disa hircicornis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Disa hircicornis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Disa hircicornis
Ispot Southern Africa: Disa hircicornis
JSTOR Plant Science: Disa hircicornis
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Disa hircicornis
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Disa hircicornis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Disa hircicornis
The Plant List (version 1.1): Disa hircicornis
Tropicos: Disa hircicornis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Disa hircicornis.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=117340, retrieved 17 November 2018

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