Annual Return of Pride of Table Mountain

Red Disa Season 2020

red disa

Startling floral diversity is what Table Mountain is commonly associated. High up micro-climates support clusters of plants, some iconic. This frustrates those gardeners below trying to grow local species they's seen not far above their suburb, where it's difficult to replicate what's found on the mountain's slopes, especially on the south east-facing parts of Table Mountain.. 

While at ground level Cape Town's hottest months of the year, cooled by the summer southeaster blows, up where the ‘table cloth’ cloud that swirls atop the valleys and grey sandstone buttresses, or mist-drip from stems and shrubs. The ground becomes sodden. The wind also cools. Streams run chilly. Just the spot for the most famous of the tricky-to-grow mountain flowers, out for a month or so, in late summer. The Red Disa, or Disa Uniflora, is also known as Flower of the Gods, or Bakkiesblom. It is the emblem of the Mountain Club of South Africa. You see it on the jerseys of the Western Province Rugby team too. These rare plants grow mostly on the south eastern side, especially in hard to find damp, mist-hugged kloofs and ravines. 

Way back before the dams they were spotted was along the wetland sink of the Disa Stream, it is said. Bags of them, one account has it, used to get carried down, to sell presumably, though I don't know how long it would last.