Disa robusta N.E.Br.

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Synonyms: Disa coccinea Kraenzl.
Disa praestans Kraenzl.
Common names:
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb with separate fertile and sterile shoots, growing from testicular tubers. Sterile shoots 2–4-leaved; leaves semi-erect, conduplicate, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, up to 30 cm long. Fertile shoots 60–80 cm tall; leaves along the stem almost completely sheathing, grading into the floral bracts, 6–9 cm long. Inflorescence sub-dense, 7–15(30) cm long, 10–20(40)-flowered. Floral bracts ovate to narrowly ovate, reaching to the middle of the flowers. Flowers facing down at an angle of 45°, orange-red. Dorsal sepal broadly ovate, 10–16 mm long, 9–12 mm wide and 7–8 mm deep. Spur horizontal from a broadly conical base, 25–35 mm long, usually upcurved, ascending due to the angle of the flowers. Lateral sepals broadly ovate to broadly oblong, 12–18 mm long. Petals oblanceolate, 11–18 mm long, erect, falcate. Lip narrowly oblong, 7–12 mm long.
Derivation of specific name: robusta: robust, tall. This in relation to most other Disa species in the region.
Habitat: In moist montane grassland, edges of dambos, seepage slopes and occasionally in Brachystegia woodland.
Altitude range: 1500 - 2000 m
Flowering time:Nov -Jan
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 222 - 223. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 321. (Includes a picture).

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

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 123. (Includes a picture).

Moriarty, A. (1975). Wild Flowers of Malawi Purnell & sons Cape Town. Pages 47 - 48. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 119.

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

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 83 - 84. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Disa robusta:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Disa robusta
Flora of Zambia: Disa robusta

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Disa robusta.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=209410, retrieved 22 April 2024

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