Holothrix scopularia is a tuberous geophyte, meaning that it grows above-ground leaves and a scape, annually renewable from the underground part, the ovoid perennial tuber. Commonly these plants are referred to as ground orchids. There are usually two fleshy leaves, rounded and unequal, positioned flat on the ground. The stout and hairy scape or flower stalk may exceed 30 cm in height.
The specific name, scopularia, may either refer to the flower resemblance to small brushes, then derived from the Latin word scopulinus that means bearing small brushes, or it may refer to the plant's rocky habitat, in which case the name would have been derived from the Latin scopulosus (rocky).
The species habitat is exposed grassland, commonly in rocky patches at medium to high elevations in and near the Drakensberg from the Eastern Cape to Mpumalanga, as well as in Lesotho. This photo was taken in the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area in the Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal (Pooley, 1998; JSTOR; www.pacificbulbsociety.org).
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