African Plant Database

Disa fragrans Schltr.
Protologue : Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 20(4, Beibl. 50): 40 (1895)
Information on the genus : Disa
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Disa fragrans Schltr. subsp. fragrans
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Disa leucostachys Kraenzl. (1901)
=Monadenia junodiana Kraenzl.
Taxon infra-specific
Disa fragrans Schltr. subsp. fragrans
Disa fragrans subsp. deckenii (Rchb. f.) H.P. Linder (1981)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Terrestrial robust herb; tubers cylindrical, 2-5x0,5-0,7 cm, densely tomentose; sterile stem 4-7 cm tall with 1-3 sheaths at base heavily blotched with red-purple, and 1-2 leaves at apex, narrowly elliptic, acute; flowering stem 7-50 cm tall, very leafy; leaves 7-13, imbricate, sheathing, heavily blotched with red-purple, lanceolate, acute, the largest 3-9x1-1,5 cm, with free blades, grading into bracts; inflorescence 2-12 cm long, 2-3,5 cm Ø, densely 10-30-150-flowered; flowers white to lilac and crimson, blotched with red, c. 8 mm Ø, heavily hyacinth or clover scented; bracts lanceolate, 9-18 mm long, apices reflexed; pedicel and ovary 10 mm long; dorsal sepal ± orbicular, 5-8x5 mm, hood-like, with slender pendent spur from just below middle 4-10 mm long; lateral sepals spreading, oblong, 5-6x2-3 mm, apices curved forwards; petals erect, entire, lanceolate, c. 4x1,5 mm; lip semi-pendent, linear-spathulate, 3-6x0,4-1 mm.
Ecology : Wet grassland; swamp; moorland; open swamp vegetation with dominant Cyperus spp; ericaceous shrub; grassy glades at upper edges of forest; stony and rocky places on hilltops; grassy spots in upland moor among Erica arborea; bamboo forest; in thick moss on top of rocks; vertical seepage slope in shade of large rocks; short montane grassland where the species can form dense stands; widespread but not common; 1950-3300(-3700) m alt.
  Plant very attractive to insects (Ball, 2009: 56). Ball (2009): 58-59, has a drawing of a variant of D. fragrans subsp. fragrans from “vertical rock faces in the upper Chimanimanis where it grows rooted in moist tufts of grass”, with pure white flowers tinged with yellowish green; it “grows away from the rock face curving upwards to bear the inflorescence vertically. The familiar strong clover scent is present” (specim. Ball 649). The stem is 15-23 cm long with “numerous lanceolate – near hastate leaves”. It seems to be a local variant of D. fragrans subsp. fragrans.
  S. Africa, Lesotho.
  Comprises 2 subspp.: - subsp. fragrans [syn.: D. leucostachys Kraenzl.; Monadenia junodiana Kraenzl.]; - subsp. deckenii (Rchb. f.) H. P. Linder [bas.: Disa deckenii Rchb. f.; D. kilimanjarica Rendle; D. polygonoides sensu Kraenzl. 1895 (Pflanzenw. O.-Afr. C: 153), non Lindl.].
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see under The International Plant Name Index
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
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Record n°175867
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