Disa rhodantha Schltr.

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Disa rhodantha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Below summit of Mt Nyangani

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Common names:
Frequency: Local and occasional
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb with separate fertile and sterile shoots. Sterile shoots 3–4-leaved; leaves erect, folded along the length, narrowly elliptic to linear, 20–30 cm long, often petiolate. Fertile shoots with 8–16 leaves along the stem, grading into the floral bracts, mostly sheathing, narrowly lanceolate, 3–10 cm long. Inflorescence dense, mostly 10–15 cm long, 15–30-flowered. Flowers facing down, pink to red, lip yellow to pink. Dorsal sepal helmet-shaped, 7–10 mm long, 4–5 mm wide and 3.5–4.5 mm deep, with a slender spur, 7–17 mm long, ascending, apex somewhat swollen.Lateral sepals oblong, 7–10 mm long. Petals obliquely narrowly oblong, 5.5–8 mm long, somewhat variable in shape. Lip pendent, more or less narrowly oblanceolate, 6–7 mm long, rarely narrowly elliptic, apical margins sometimes faintly serrate.
Notes: The Zimbabwean population differs from South African material in a somewhat longer spur which is not deflexed at the apex. More research is needed to establish whether this difference would merit it taxonomic distinction.
Derivation of specific name: rhodantha: with rose-red flowers
Habitat: Montane grassland
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - near threatened
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review. Pages 64 - 65. (Includes a picture).

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

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 175.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 80.

Johnson, S., Bytebier, B, & Stärker H. (2015). Orchids of South Africa, a Field Guide Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 223. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 178.

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Pages 219 - 220. (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 190 - 191. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Disa rhodantha:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Disa rhodantha
African Plant Database: Disa rhodantha
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Disa rhodantha
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Disa rhodantha
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Disa rhodantha
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Disa rhodantha
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Disa rhodantha
JSTOR Plant Science: Disa rhodantha
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Disa rhodantha
Plants of the World Online: Disa rhodantha
Tropicos: Disa rhodantha
Wikipedia: Disa rhodantha

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Disa rhodantha.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=117400, retrieved 27 February 2024

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