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  1. Family: Orchidaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Disa P.J.Bergius
      1. Disa aperta N.E.Br.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is SW. & S. Tanzania to Zambia.


    Orchidaceae, V. S. Summerhayes. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

    A terrestrial herb 2–4.5 dm. high, glabrous except for the roots.
    Tubers ovoid or ellipsoid, 1.5–2.5 cm. long, 1–1.5 cm. in diameter, ± densely tomentose.
    Roots slender, flexuous, pubescent.
    Flowering stems erect, rather slender, terete, leafy throughout their length; leaves 4–6, the lowest 1 or 2 sheath-like, obtuse, the remainder erect, ± adpressed to the stem, lanceolate, acute, the largest 4.5–8 cm. long and 5–14 mm. broad, the uppermost often much smaller than the others. Sterile stems only slightly developed at time of flowering, very short, with several overlapping sheaths and a single narrow leaf.
    Inflorescence 4–17 cm. long, 3–4.5 cm. in diameter, rather loosely 6–25-flowered.
    Bracts thin in texture, lanceolate, acuminate, 8–16 mm. long, shorter than the flowers.
    Flowers half-spreading, whitish with purple or mauve markings or spots; pedicel with ovary straight, 10–14 mm. long.
    Dorsal sepal erect or tilted backwards, convex, broadly elliptical in front, spurred at the back below the middle, 7–11 mm. long, the mouth ± 7 mm. broad when spread out, the spur at right angles, shortly cylindrical from a broader base, total length from base of sepal 6–7 mm.; laterals projecting forwards, oblong-elliptical, rounded, 10–13 mm. long, 4–5 mm. broad, apex shortly mucronate.
    Petals inside the dorsal sepal, erect, very obliquely oblanceolate or almost subhastate, acute, 5–7 mm. long, ± 3 mm. broad, attached to the column by a thin keel or ridge.
    Lip projecting forwards in a straight line with the ovary, narrowly oblong from a narrower base, obtuse or rounded at the apex, 6–11 mm. long, ± 2 mm. broad.
    Column short, erect; anther reflexed or horizontal, ± 2 mm. long, canals short, turned upwards; stigma almost orbicular, 2 mm. in diameter.
    In swamps or grassland by streams; 900–2100 m.
    T7 T8

    Orchidaceae, I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:1. 1995

    Erect, terrestrial herb, 25–45 cm tall, slender, perennating by tubers.
    Leaves usually 3, mostly sheathing, the lowermost foliate, 4–8 cm long, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, acute to subacuminate, lax.
    Inflorescence lax, 10–18 cm long, 10–30-flowered.
    Floral bracts narrowly ovate, acute to acuminate, mauve and possibly dry, about as long as the ovary.
    Flowers facing somewhat down, sepals mauve-blue to greenish-brown speckled purple, petals white to greenish-brown, lip white with faint spots, spur white.
    Dorsal sepal elliptic, acute, forming a galea 6–9(11) mm long, 3.5–5(6) mm wide and 3–4 mm deep. Lateral sepals patent, 7.5–11.5 mm long, oblique, oblong-elliptic, subacute, apiculate.
    Spur 3–4 mm long, conical to sub-cylindrical, obtuse to rounded, usually horizontal, originating above the base of the galea.
    Petals 5.5–6(7) mm long, falcate, acute, triangular in outline, erect inside the galea.
    Lip patent, 5.5–8.5 mm long, linear-elliptic, rounded.
    Rostellum 2 mm tall, fused to petals by long keels.
    Anther 2 mm long.
    Stigma subsessile, tripulvinate, almost square.
    Ovary 10–15 mm long.



    Native to:

    Tanzania, Zambia

    Other Data

    Disa aperta N.E.Br. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jun 17, 1978 Holmes, W.D. [259], Zambia K000317258
    Jun 17, 1978 Watermeyer, A.M. [214], Tanzania K000317245
    Jun 17, 1978 Bullock, A.A. [2024], Tanzania K000317248
    Jun 17, 1978 Brummitt, R.K. [13647], Tanzania K000317246
    Jun 17, 1978 Richards, H.M. [15809], Tanzania K000317247
    Jun 17, 1978 Richards, H.M. [15809], Tanzania K000317253
    May 14, 1974 Morze, G. [107], Zambia K000317262
    May 13, 1974 Williamson, G. [349], Zambia K000317256
    Jan 8, 1963 Lynes, H. [175], Tanzania K000317250
    Jan 1, 1898 Carson, A. [51], Tanzania K000077523 holotype
    Milne-Redhead, E. [3306], Zambia 9404.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8326A], Tanzania 9405.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8326], Tanzania 9406.000
    Richards, H.M. [17402], Zambia 26913.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8326], Tanzania K000317251
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8326], Tanzania K000317252
    Milne-Redhead, E. [3306], Zambia K000317261
    Williamson, G. [349], Zambia 33115.000
    Morze, G. [107], Zambia 31728.000
    Morze, G. [103b], Zambia 31731.000
    La Croix [678], Malawi K000317254
    La Croix [54], Malawi K000317269
    Schaijes, M. [2072], Congo, DRC 48931.000
    Schaijes, M. [2072], Zaire K000317265
    Lovett, J. [2815], Tanzania K000317268
    Brenan, R. [37], Zambia K000317260
    Richards, H.M. [4850], Tanzania K000317249
    Richards, H.M. [17402], Zambia K000317259
    Phillips, E. [4663], Malawi K000317255
    Phillips, E. [4470], Zambia K000317263
    Hirschberg, C.W.O. [197], Congo K000317266
    Moyer, D. [65], Tanzania K000317267


    First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 286 (1898)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Kraenzl., Orch. Gen. et Sp. 1: 785 (1900).
    • N.E. Br. in Flora of Tropical Africa 7: 286 (1898).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.