AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Disperis johnstonii Rchb.f. ex Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 291 (1898).
Heterotypic Synonyms:

Disperis stolzii Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 548 (1915).
Description:

Small terrestrial herb 4–15 cm tall; tubers 7–15 mm long, ovoid or globose, hairy. Leaves 2–3, alternate, green with white veins above, purple below, sessile, 2–3 × 1.5–2 cm, ovate, clasping stem at base. Inflorescence 1–5-flowered.Hood yellow with darker marks inside (hood pale purple in east African specimens); lateral sepals white or very pale mauve. Ovary and pedicel 10–12 mm long; bracts leaf-like, of similar length. Dorsal sepal 8–11 × c. 1 mm, joined to petals to form an open hood 9–10 mm wide. Lateral sepals 10–12 × 5.5–7 mm, joined at the base for about a third of their length, projecting forwards, obliquely semicircular, each with small sac c. 1 mm long. Petals c. 10 × 2–3 mm, narrowly elliptical, falcate.Lip4–6.5 mm long, the claw bent back on itself near the base and at that point bearing a 2-lobed appendage with papillose lobes; claw ending in an ovate or almost round blade with a papillose protuberance in centre.
Habitat:

Brachystegia woodland, forest patches, usually in shelter of rocks 1050–1350 m.
Distribution:

Trop. & S. Africa