South African Orchid

South African Orchid
Photographer
Deb Oliver
Common Name
South African Orchid
Scientific Name
Disa bracteata
Origin of Species
Introduced
Size
35cm
Leaf Description
Numerous grass-like leaves. Linear, erect to 5cm x 15cm long, fleshy, hairless. Alternating along flower stem and embracing the flowers. Purplish underneath along the lower stems.
General Description
A fleshy, green and brown orchid with up to 60 tiny brown, reddish-pink, green and yellow flowers with a yellow tongue-like labellum in a dense spike. Each flower is is surrounded by a modified leaf bract. Grows to 75cm high. Leaves are numerous and grass-like and purple underneath. It is the only invasive, non-native orchid in Victoria.
Flower Description
Up to 50 small yellow, green and brown flowers arranged in a dense spiral on fleshy stems, each to 4mm across. Dorsal sepal and petals united to form a red-brown hood. Lateral sepals spreading sideways and are yellow-green. A yellow tongue-like labellum. Each flower is surrounded by a modifed leaf-bract.

Flower Colour
Brown, reddish-pink and yellow
Suburb
St Andrews, Christmas Hills
Flowering Months
September
October
November
Habitat
Disturbed grasslands and heathlands.
Date of Last Record
2000-2015
Growing Conditions
Disturbed sites in various habitats. Has been identified in Nillumbik along roadsides, pasture and in bushland. Each plant produces millions of dust-like seeds and can rapidly colonise areas forming dense colonies.