African Plant Database

Disa welwitschii Rchb. f.
Information on the genus : Disa
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Disa welwitschii Rchb. f. subsp. welwitschii
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Disa breyeri Schltr. (1924)
=Disa calophylla Kraenzl. (1904)
=Disa hyacinthina Kraenzl. (1912)
=Disa ignea Kraenzl. (1904)
=Disa welwitschii var. buchneri Schltr.
Taxon infra-specific
Disa welwitschii Rchb. f. subsp. welwitschii
Disa welwitschii subsp. occultans (Schltr.) H.P. Linder
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Terrestrial herb, highly variable; tubers elongate-ovoid, 1,5-7x1-3 cm, sometimes forked at apex; sterile stem 7-15 cm tall, covered by overlapping sheaths, with 1-4 linear leaves at apex 8-36x0,5-4 cm; flowering stem 20-100(-150) cm tall, entirely covered by leaves; leaves 10-18, lanceolate, 3-11x0,8-2 cm; inflorescence cylindrical, 3-21 cm long, 2-3 cm Ø, 20-100-flowered; flowers 5-10 mm Ø, pink (subsp. occultans), red or carmine (subsp. welwitschii), often with darker spots; bracts lanceolate, 13-40 mm long; pedicel and ovary 10-20 mm long, twisted; dorsal sepal oblong-ovate, hood-like, 4,5-12x3,5-8 mm, with pendent spur near middle (subsp. occultans) or near base (subsp. welwitschii), spur 3-10 mm long, cylindrical or subclavate; lateral sepals obliquely oblong, 5-9 mm long (subsp. occultans) to 7-12 mm long (subsp. welwitschii); petals 2-lobed, anterior lobe ovate, 3-7x2,5-6 mm, posterior lobe oblong-lanceolate 6-11x1-3 mm; lip linear, 4-12x0,7-2 mm, pendent.
Ecology : Grassland; damp grassland, dambos; poorly drained grassland; bog, swamp; marshes often bordering gallery forest; Erica bushes; high vleis over granite; grassy patches on rocky mountain summit plateau; 600-2400-3170 m alt. – Common where it occurs.
  Easily confused with D. celata.
  S. Africa, Swaziland. Probably not in Gabon.
  Comprises 2 subspp.: - subsp. welwitschii [syn.: D. welwitschii var. buchneri Schltr.; D. calophylla Kraenzl.; D. ignea Kraenzl.; D. hyacinthina Kraenzl.; D. breyeri Schltr.] in S part of range (c. S of 9°S); - subsp. occultans (Schltr.) H. P. Linder [bas.: D. occultans Schltr.; syn.: D. welwitschii var. occultans (Schltr.) Geerinck; D. subaequalis Summerh.; D. tanganyikensis Summerh.; D. aurantiaca sensu Kraenzl. 1899, 1901, 1909, non Rchb. f.; D. ochrostachya sensu De Wild. 1904, non Rchb. f.; D. welwitschii sensu Geerinck in Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg. 107: 10, 1974, p.p., non Rchb. f.; See Fl. Afr. Centr., Orchid. 1: 185, 1984] widespread in N part of range: W, C & E Africa (N of c. 15°S). Distribution maps in Distrib. Pl. Afric. 22: maps 737, 738, 1981. Key to the subspecies in la Croix & al., Orchids Malawi: l.c. In S Tanzania the two subspecies intergrade. Subsp. occultans is often confused with D. scutellifera (growing at higher altitudes).
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Record n°175864
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