Disa versicolor Rchb. f.

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Disa versicolor

Photo: Bart Wursten
Slopes of Mt Rukotso, Nyanga

Disa versicolor

Photo: Bart Wursten
Slopes of Mt Rukotso, Nyanga

Disa versicolor

Photo: Bart Wursten
Slopes of Mt Rukotso, Nyanga

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

Synonyms: Disa hemisphaerophora Rchb. f.
Disa macowanii Rchb. f.
Common names:
Frequency: Locally frequent
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb, 30 - 50 cm. Flowering stem with sheathing leaves; foliage leaves 3 to 5, on a separate sterile shoot. Inflorescence very dense, many-flowered, up to 20 cm long, the bracts often drying black. Flowers mostly pointing downwards, varying from nearly white to deep pink purple and scarlet, lip up to 5.5 mm long, strap-shaped.
Notes: South African plants of this species have a differnt flower colour and look very different to the plants in the border highlands of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It has been suggested (FZ 11(1): 185) that our material may be Disa maculomarronina McMurtry
Derivation of specific name: versicolor: variously coloured or changing in colour
Habitat: On rocky slopes in montane grassland.
Altitude range: (metres) 1650 - 2240 m
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola and 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

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

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 114 - 115. Drawing of quite different looking South African material (Includes a picture).

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

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

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 184 - 185.

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 178 - 179. Photos of quite different looking South African material (Includes a picture).

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976). A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4) Page 390.

Summerhayes, V.S. (1964). African orchids XXIX Kew Bulletin 17(3) Pages 547 - 549.

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

Other sources of information about Disa versicolor:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Disa versicolor

External websites:

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

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 versicolor.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=117420, retrieved 24 May 2024

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