Flora of the Mountain Kingdom

Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes – Lesotho Flowers

February 5, 2012
Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes photo by Bokang Ntloko

Flower of the month (February 2012)

Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes

Photo by Bokang Ntloko 

Conservation message:

It is protected by law in Lesotho under legal notice N0.93 of 2004. It has always been listed under Southern African red data list as a rare species in Lesotho. This means it is illegal to collect this plant in the wild without a permit.



Family – Orchidaceae

It is always slender, tall and conspicuous due to its solitary whitish head if seen from distance. The flower head is, roundish and dense. It has red spots on the hood


Distribution and habitat:

It is found on high altitude areas in Lesotho, though it is not easily found on overgrazed grassland. The easy to spot areas so far are areas that are protected in one way or the other i.e. Bokong Nature Reserve, Sehlabathebe National Park, Mahlasela Afriskiing and Lets’eng Diamond Mine project areas due to inaccessibility or controlled livestock grazing.

Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes photo by Bokang Ntloko

Cultivation and Care:

This orchid belongs to the terrestrial species and it’s one of the very difficult to grow unless you imitate exactly the same conditions in the wild habitat which might be expensive. It is always advisable to leave this kind of plants in their natural habitat rather contribute an effort in conserving them in the wild.

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