Disa perplexa H.P. Linder

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Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Disa perplexa

Photo: Penny English
South of the old stables at Chelinda, Nyika National Park

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms:
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Description:
Terrestrial herb 30–90 cm tall. Leaves along the stem overlapping, mostly sheathing, lanceolate, 4–8 cm long. Inflorescence densely many-flowered, cylindric, 10–25 cm long. Floral bracts narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 1.5–2 cm long, overtopping the flowers. Flowers facing down, white with green or purple mottling on the sepals. Dorsal sepal elliptic-ovate, forming a hood 5.5–6.5 mm long, 4–4.5 mm wide and c. 2 mm deep. Spur cylindric, 9–11 mm long, horizontal from a small conical base, soon decurved. Lateral sepals oblong, 5–5.5 mm long. Petals oblong, 4.5–5 mm long. Lip obovate-spathulate, 3–5 mm long.
Notes: This species is very similar to Disa hircicornis. It differs in the consistently pale whitish, purple mottled flower colour but D. hircicornis itself is also known for its quite variable colour. The most reliable distinguishing character likely is that D. perplexa has an obovate-spathulate lip while the lip in D. hircicornis is linear to narrowly elliptic.
Derivation of specific name: perplexa: confused, obscure; referring to the confusing similarity with Disa hircicornis
Habitat: Wet grassland
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and a single record from Mpumalanga, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: E
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 11 November 2020
Literature:

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.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 22.

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) Pages 180 - 181.

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

Linder, H.P. (1981). Taxonomic studies in the Disinae (Orchidaceae): IV A revision of Disa Berg. sect. Micranthae Lindl. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 51(3/4) Pages 321 - 324. as Disa englerana (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 95.

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 184 - 185. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 119.

Stewart, J. & Campbell, B. (1996). Orchids of Kenya Timber Press Inc, Portland Oregon, USA ISBN0-88192-357-5 Page 106.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 135.


Other sources of information about Disa perplexa:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Disa perplexa
Flora of Zambia: Disa perplexa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Disa perplexa
African Plant Database: Disa perplexa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Disa perplexa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Disa perplexa
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Disa perplexa
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Disa perplexa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Disa perplexa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Disa perplexa
iNaturalist: Disa perplexa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Disa perplexa
JSTOR Plant Science: Disa perplexa
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Disa perplexa
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Disa perplexa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Disa perplexa
Plants of the World Online: Disa perplexa
Tropicos: Disa perplexa
Wikipedia: Disa perplexa


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Disa perplexa.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=117390, retrieved 3 December 2020

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