Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Scientific name - Disa uniflora
Common name - Red Disa, Rooi Disa, Pride of Table Mountain, Watervalblom
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Habitat Along perennial streams, in the spray of waterfalls and in wet seepages over cliffs, in shade or sunlifgt
Altitude 100 to 1200m
Flowering time January to March
Description Plants flexuose to erect up to 60cm tall, spreading by stolons. Leaves are narrowly lance-shaped, cauline, with longest near the base. Inflorescence usually with one to few carmine red to orange flowers (occasionally pink or yellow), the dorsal sepal paler and streaked with red. Spur is wedge-shaped and the lip is short and narrow.
This species, because of the large, showy flowers, has received more attention than any other Cape orchid.
Disa uniflora is pollinated by the Pride of Table Mountain butterfly, Aeropetes tulbaghia, which is strongly attracted to red flowers. The elongate pollinia are transported on the legs of the butterflies.
Seeds of D. uniflora are much larger than those of the other Cape orchids, and are dispersed by running water.
2017 / 3 / 22