In habitat Ceratandra atrata is one of the smaller, delicate members of its vegetation community, the ecology that makes member species wait their turn to do their thing. These small, erect, yellow-green plants are seen flowering in the first years after fires, before the bigger, robust plants form a too dense covering over the terrain for them to perform. The little ones then have to wait for years until the fire-cleared land is their stage again.
C. atrata habitat includes fairly dry rocky hillsides, seepages over sandstone, marshes and stream-banks. It occurs from sea level to about 1500 m. This one was found in the Kogelberg, not far from a river. The veld is still comparatively bare after a recent fire, the sandy ground dry. The plant often grows in small colonies, but occasionally in large stands, blooming festively (Liltved and Johnson, 2012; Manning, 2007; iSpot; Bean and Johns, 2005).