Oil on Panel, 28" x 24", 2007
Orchid: Disa uniflora
Native Range: South Africa-Southwestern Cape Province
Pollinator: Mountain Pride Butterfly
Conservation Status: Locally common in suitable habitats
“Floral symbol of South Africa’s Table Mountain, this orchid commonly called the Pride of Table Mountain, is entirely dependent on a complex pollination strategy of the Mountain Pride Butterfly. This butterfly is strongly attracted to the color red, a color many insects cannot see.
Nature appears random, but seldom is. What looks on the surface to be quiet and still requires the intensity and vigor of giants.
As I dig deeper into my exploration of the connections between myself and nature, I am continually awed by the interdependent relationships of plants and animals.
The orchid could not survive without the help of its butterfly pollinator, as we could not survive without plants in our world.
Of the more than 175 species of Disa, the vast majority is native to tropical and South Africa, Disa uniflora is by far the most striking and important species and parent in the genus.
Disa plants are exceptionally intolerant of poor water quality and have a fairly narrow range of cultural conditions making them singularly susceptible to habitat loss as global climate changes.”