Afrikaans, South African Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch moederkapje), literally ‘mother-bonnet’, from Dutch moeder mother + kap hood + diminutive suffix -ie; see quotation 1966.
A name given to any of several species of Orchidaceae which have bonnet-shaped flowers, especially Disperis capensis, Bonatea speciosa, and Pterygodium catholicum. Also Englished form muttercap.See also Hottentot bonnet (Hottentotnoun sense 6 a).
1887J. MackinnonS. Afr. Traits 124Here is the Pride of Table Mountain and the Muttercap, two of the twenty-five species of orchids that exist in South Africa.
1910D. FairbridgeThat Which Hath Been (1913) 270Orchids in inexhaustible variety, from scarlet disas to yellow moeder-kapjes, from pink trevors to countless jewels of mauve or blue..are still left to us.
1924D. FairbridgeGardens of S. Afr. 138A dull-green jar holds pale-yellow moeder-kapjes,..and the perfume from the little hooded flowers fills the room.
1952Cape Times 8 May 14Pine trees, together with humans, have been too much for the nerines, the moederkappies and other veld things which used to flower there.
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 340Moederkappie, A name given to various terrestrial orchids in which the upper sepal is conspicuously hooded...The whole flower bears a striking resemblance to the old type of Dutch ‘kappie’ (bonnet) and the lateral sepals enhance the effect by their suggestion of ribbons for tying the ‘kappie’.
1973M.R. Levyns inStd Encycl. of Sn Afr.VIII. 382Moederkappie, Oumakappie,..These names are borne by two quite distinct species: Pterygodium catholicum..is usually about 20cm high, with two or three leaves sheathing the somewhat fleshy stem. The few sulphur-yellow flowers are borne in a lax spike. As the flowers fade they turn dull red...Disperis capensis. Common orchid, sometimes called ‘granny bonnet’, with magenta, greenish or cream-coloured flowers.
1977Sunday Times 2 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 3The overpowering smell of moederkappies.
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