Disa graminiflora

Botanical name

Disa graminiflora

Other names

Blue disa, previously Herschelianthe graminiflora




A small perennial, reappearing annually after a dormant period from a tuberous rootstock

Description of stem


Description of leaves

Narrow leaves from the base, semi-erect

Description of flowers

Racemes of blue flowers appearing in summer; light blue sepals, the dorsal one darker blue towards the apex, pointed rather than hooded; the lip white at the centre, bright to dark blue at the edges, recurving, comparatively big; the pollinia in front of the dorsal sepal as two greenish yellow protuberances drooping sideways above the dark blue petals; the stigma white, central

Desciption of seed/fruit


Description of roots

Tuberoids, growing shoots that form new root tubers


Some flower colour variation

Propagation and cultivation

Can be grown from seed, germination slow; humidity and temperature controlled in greenhouse conditions; Disa Society at +27 (0)21 913 6902 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Can withstand summer heat, provided that the roots remain moist


A delightful sighting in nature; plants may not be removed; a rare garden subject, grown from seed in special, carefully controlled circumstances

Ecological rarity

Very small areas that provide the required conditions of the natural habitat

Pests and diseases



The Orchid Conservation Alliance creates orchid habitat reserves in the Equadorian Andes, See www.orchidconservationalliance.org ; on www.orchidspecies.com over 6000 orchid species in 611 genera are listed; a natural hybrid occurs between D. graminiflora and D. ferruginea, called D. vogelpoelii; blue disas include D. hians, lonicornu and maculata; find blue disa photos on www.disas.com/louis_vogelpoel_02.htm for blue disa pictures


Grows in cool, wet fynbos areas close to rivers, often in wet moss near waterfalls; may appear in endemic areas after veld fires

Distribution (SA provinces)

Western Cape


South Africa

Disa sp. : Photographed by Retha Wareham

Disa species: Photographed by Retha Wareham