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  1. Family: Orchidaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Disperis Sw.
      1. Disperis nemorosa Rendle

        This species is accepted, and its native range is E. & S. Tropical Africa.


    Orchidaceae, I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:1. 1995

    Terrestrial herb 10–30 cm tall; tubers 1–2.5 × 0.8–1 cm, ovoid or globose.
    Leaves 2, subopposite, glossy bright green, sessile or with a very short petiole, 2.5–6.5 × 2–4 cm, ovate, sheathing at base.
    Inflorescence 1–4-flowered.
    Flowers white or bright magenta-pink with lilac spur, sweetly violet-scented in the evening.
    Pedicel and Ovary
    Ovary and pedicel 15–20 mm long.
    Bracts leaf-like, of similar length.
    Dorsal sepal joined with petals to form a slender spur c. 10 mm long from top of ovary to apex of spur, 12 mm long from apex of spur to front margin of dorsal sepal. Lateral sepals projecting forwards in same plane as the spur, 6–8 × 4–5 mm, obliquely oblong, obtuse, almost free, each with small sac 1–1.5 mm long.
    Petals adnate to dorsal sepal, auriculate at base.
    Lip with a slender claw 9–12 mm long, reaching the spur apex, then doubled back for 1.5–2 mm, with a long appendage arising at the point of reflexion and reaching the open end of the spur. Appendage linear-oblanceolate, growing wider towards bifid apex, with pair of obtuse lobes c. 1 mm long just before the apex.

    Orchidaceae, V. S. Summerhayes. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

    Herb, 8–28 cm. tall, arising from 1–2 round or oblong tubers 1–2.5 cm. long, 0.8–1 cm. wide, spreading by tuber-bearing underground stems.
    Leaves 2–4, opposite, sessile or shortly petiolate, sheathing at the base, ovate, 2.5–6.5 cm. long, 1.8–4 cm. wide, acute or acuminate, cuneate to truncate above the sheath.
    Racemes 1–4-flowered; flowers white or white and mauve; bracts leaf-like, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 0.6–2 cm. long, 0.4–1 cm. wide, acuminate.
    Intermediate sepal joined with petals to form a very slender spur, 0.9–1.5 cm. long, white or sometimes with pinkish or mauve marks, often green at the apex; lateral sepals irregularly oblong, oblique, 7–8 mm. long, 4–5.5 mm. wide, obtuse, ± free, white, bearing sacs 1–1.5 mm. long.
    Petals rounded, broadly rounded at the free apex, auriculate at the base.
    Lip light mauve or green suffused with purple, with a slender flattened claw 0.9–1.1 cm. long, ending in a sharply reflexed linear limb 1.5–2 mm. long and bearing at this point a long appendage 0.9–1.2 cm. long directed back to the open end of the spur; appendage linear-oblanceolate, broadened and shortly bifid apically, bearing a pair of spreading oblong obtuse lobes 1 mm. long just before the extreme apex.
    Fig. 41.
    Mossy places and leaf-litter on floor of evergreen, mist- and bamboo-forests; 1800–2550 m.
    probably occurs in the Congo Republic K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T2 T3 T7 U2



    Native to:

    Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia


    Other Data

    Disperis nemorosa Rendle appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Tanzania 30324.000
    Bally, P.R.O. [7374], Kenya 9430.000
    Tweedie, E.M. [2851], Kenya 27309.000
    Tweedie, E.M. [2692], Kenya 31114.000
    Polhill, R. [1630], Tanzania 24035.000
    Williamson, G. [269], Zambia 1800.027
    Scott Elliot, G.F. [7944], Uganda K000306675
    Kirk [7427], Kenya 18548.000
    Dowsett-Lemaire, F. [351], Malawi 44307.000
    Laizer et al. [1580], Tanzania K000449707
    Stolz, A. [1192], Tanzania Disperis centrocorys K000306670


    First published in J. Bot. 33: 297 (1895)

    Accepted by

    • Kurzweil, H. & Manning, J.C. (2005). A synopsis of the genus Disperis Sw. (Orchidaceae) Adansonia, III, 27: 155-207.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Piers, Orch. E. Afr.: 42 (1959).
    • Rolfe in Flora of Tropical Africa 7: 292 (1898).
    • Schltr. in Bull. Herb. Boiss. 6: 950 (1898).
    • Rendle in Journal of Botany 33: 297 (1895).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.