Brownleea macroceras Sond., Linnaea 19: 106 (1846).
Brownleea monophylla Schltr., Beibl. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 50: 18 (1895).
Plants (50-) 100-300 (-500) mm tall; basal sheath obtuse and apiculate, ribbed and with dark brown muricate patches, (20-) 40-80 mm long; leaves 1 (-3), blade usually narrowly lanceolate, acute, spreading, shallowly conduplicate, 60-80 (-120) x 4-10 (-30) mm. Inflorescences 1 (-6) -flowered. Flowers facing out horizontally, up to 30 mm in diameter, sepals and petals pale mauve to almost white. Median sepal galea 10-13 x c. 2-3 mm x 3-6 mm deep; spur slender, at length somewhat decurved, apically subclavate, obtuse, (15-) 25-40 mm long; lateral sepals (10-) 13-18 x 4-6 mm. Petals oblanceolate to narrowly obovate, sub oblique, acute, facing forwards. Lip c. 2 mm long. Anther c. 3 mm long, apex upcurved; stigma c. 2.5 mm in diameter; rostellum 3-5 mm tall
Found in the Drakensberg from the Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho to Harrismith in the Free State; associated with rock outcrops, on rock ledges and in shallow rocky soil, from above 1800 m in the south to above 2700 m in the north.
Flowering from late February to the beginning of April.
In the northern part of the distribution range the plants tend to be smaller, more frequently single flowered, with a single leaf. The flowers also tend to be larger. At the southern end of the distribution range individuals with up to six flowers and three leaves occasionally occur, but the flowers tend to be smaller, showed that the species is pollinated by the long-proboscid fly Prosoeca ganglbaueri (Nemestrinidae).
S. Africa (Drakensberg)
Flora Capensis, Vol 5, Part 3, page 3, (1913) Author: (By R. A. ROLFE.); Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999 drawing/photo fide; A molecular phylogeny for the large African orchid genus Disa Bytebier 2006
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