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Dietes bicolor

Dietes bicolor
Photo Information
Copyright: Raimundo Mesquita (mesquens) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 168 W: 9 N: 287] (2073)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-24
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ7
Exposure: f/3.0, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-01-25 1:06
Viewed: 4330
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The genus name "Dietes" is derived from the Greek "dis" which means twice and "etes" which means an associate and is drawing attention to the position of this genus between Moraea and Iris which are its two relatives. The species name "bicolor" means two-coloured.
Dietes bicolor forms clumps of erect sword-shaped leaves. The adult plant is approximately 1m wide and 1m tall. The leaves are 1 to 2cm wide, light green in colour and have a double central vein. They are arranged in flat fans similar to other members of the iris family. The plant spreads by means of its modified stems (rhizomes), which are located below the soil surface.
The flowers are about 60 mm in diameter, flat, light yellow with brown markings and are produced on the ends of much branched flower stalks. The flowers only last for one day, but because so many buds are produced the plant is almost always in flower from October until January (spring and summer). The fruit is a club-shaped capsule approximately 25mm in diameter which partially splits to release the seeds.
The flower of Dietes bicolor is made up of three functional units, each consisting of an outer tepal and a style branch. Each of these units must be entered separately by the pollinating insect (probably a bee). Nectar is secreted at the base of each of the outer tepals. When the insect pollinator pushes itself between the outer tepal and style branch in search of nectar, the pollen is deposited on its back and as it moves from plant to plant it spreads pollen from one flower to the other resulting in pollination.
The insects, in turn, attract various insectivorous birds to the garden. Joffe (2001) reports that the roots of D.bicolor were traditionally used as a charm to protect the strengthen the wearer.
The genus Dietes is only found in South Africa and on Lord Howe island between Australia and New Zealand. D. bicolor is found naturally in the Bathurst region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. An interesting fact about Dietes is that of the six species that are known, five of them occur in the eastern parts of South Africa with one on Lord Howe island namely D. robinsoniana. The most primitive of these (according to molecular analysis) is D. bicolor followed by D. robinsoniana on Lord Howe island. This suggests that D. robinsoniana got to Lord Howe island through dispersal from an African origin, although how this could have happened is at present unknown.


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nice flowers, but defenitely not Dietes (which has only 3 anthers). TFS Oru

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-01-25 4:32]

Hi Raimundo,
a lively and locvely presentation of these flowers.
the inner dark petals makes it so special. Maybe there are some OE but iot did not disturb the view too much.


  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-01-25 12:59]

Hola Raimundo,
Esta bela flor.
Flor Interessante. Excelente contraste.
Uma bela noite,

Hello Raimundo,

Very attractive flowers, and an interesting note. I did a Google search for more information, and it appears that your ID on this plant may be incorrect, as it doesn't look like they are Dietes bicolor, as Ori mentioned.


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