Modern Latin, Latin, GreekShow more Modern Latin, named by Swedish botanist P.J. Bergius in his thesis Descriptiones Plantarum ex Capite Bonae Spei (1767); etymology obscure, perhaps Latin dis rich; or Greek disa goddess; or named for the dísir, female deities in Norse mythology.
a.Any of several species of orchid of the genera Disa and Herschelia of the Orchidaceae, especially the Pride of Table Mountain, D. uniflora. Also attributive.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.I. 220Among these the Orchis grandiflora, or Disa uniflora..was conspicuous by its beautiful flowers.
1913H. TuckerOur Beautiful Peninsula 93None of them can vie in splendour with the pride of Table Mountain which the summer season brings — the great scarlet disa, whose regal blossoms: ‘Hover like moths on broad and crimson wings’ over the streams that cleave the deep gorges on the mountain summit.
1953M.L. Wicht inJrnl of Botanical Soc. of S. Afr.XXXIX. 13Disa uniflora, the most famous of the disas, lines the stream-banks, and it was with great joy that we beheld a cluster of these bright orchids casting their red reflections on the surface of a clear, calm pool.
1981Flying Springbok Sept. 17Amongst the orchids will be Disa uniflora, the Pride of Table Mountain, Flower of the Gods, first described in 1767...Of the 434 indigenous species of orchids found in South Africa at least 100 of them are Disa species, ranging in colour from pinkish red, bright scarlet, deep crimson, orange, white, blue and yellow.
1988A. Pillans inS. Afr. Panorama Oct. 22The disa was given its name by the Swedish botanist, Pêter Jonas Bergius (1730–1790). He never explained why he chose the name when he established it in his thesis Descriptiones Plantarum ex Capite Bonae Spei.
1983M.M. KiddCape Peninsula 40Disa longicornis. Mauve Disa, Drip Disa..local on wet shaded rocky cliffs on Table Mountain and Constantiaberg.
1917R. MarlothDict. of Common Names of Plants 23Disa, A large genus of S.A. orchids. The best known species are: D. uniflora, the Large red - (Pride of T. Mt.); D. graminifolia, [etc.].
1951L.G. GreenGrow Lovely 19Twenty years later Thunberg admired the red disa on Table Mountain.
1968M. MullerGreen Peaches Ripen 16The mossy rocks were bejewelled with hundreds of red disas — the most beautiful and opulent of South African orchids.
1984A. WannenburghNatural Wonder of Sn Afr. 80The red disa, pride of Table Mountain, is a ground orchid which grows in wet clefts in the rock and on the banks of mountain streams.
1992S. Johnson inAfr. WildlifeVol.46No.4, 177Marloth’s most celebrated discovery was that the magnificent red disa (Disa uniflora), widely known as the emblem of the Mountain Club of South Africa and the Western Province Rugby Union, is pollinated by [the butterfly]Meneris.
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