Red disa - The Disa Uniflora Bergius

The Disa uniflora Bergius is an exquisite member of the Orchidaceae family, known for being the official emblem of the Western Cape Province. Its usually deep red petals have earned it the name of red disa (or rooi disa in Afrikaans).

Did you know? Disa uniflora Bergius is also known by many as the pride of Table Mountain or the flower of the gods

Duisa uniflora Bergius is also known by many as the pride of Table Mountain or the flower of the gods. The disa genus alone is a rather big one, consisting of 144 different species in southern Africa.


The Disa uniflora Bergius is an orchid that is known for its vibrant red blooms. However, these can also be found in pink and, very occasionally, yellow or white varieties too. Their root tubers are elongated. The middle sepal is hooded, and has a long spur that reaches about 10 centimetres in length.

Flowering time

The lovely blooms of the Disa uniflora emerge in the summer months (from December to March). Halfway through February, they experience their peak flowering time, imbuing the landscape with their rich colour.

Use in the garden

The Disa uniflora Bergius is so lovely that it is often appreciated simply for its ornamental value. It does not have any significant medicinal or practical uses in the home or garden.

Natural distribution

The Disa uniflora Bergius is indigenous to the Western Cape of South Africa and is found in perennially moist conditions. These are often near waterfalls or streams, as well as on the wetter parts of the iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town and other local mountain ranges.

Growing Disa uniflora Bergius in your garden

This beautiful plant requires conditions that are mostly cool and damp. It does best in temperatures ranging from 10 to 26 degrees Celsius, although it can survive through the occasional heat wave. It needs soil that is well drained and aerated, and partial shade.

In the garden, your Disa uniflora Bergius should be well watered, even keeping its pot in a tray of water (while not allowing the roots to be immersed in stagnant water). Use water with a neutral pH level, such as normal tap water. Grow your seedlings in the shade until they are about three years old, at which time they should be repotted. This repotting process then needs to take place every year, once the flowering stem dies back (which is in autumn).

Added nutrition in the form of a diluted fertiliser is recommended. Prevent aphids, red spiders and thrips from getting to your Disa uniflora Bergius.


The Disa uniflora Bergius is effectively propagated by division, which should be done after the flowering season. The growing plant should be washed from the roots and then the young plant carefully separated from it before repotting. This orchid can also be grown from seed, which should be sown on washed peat or sphagnum moss.

Once the seed has been scattered over the surface of the soil evenly, it must be sprayed lightly with a fungicide, and then the pot covered with clear plastic or a sheet of clear glass. The pot can be put in a shady place and left unhindered for four weeks, when it should begin to germinate.

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