Interesting Plant: Harlequin flower (Sparaxis tricolor)

Harlequin flower (Sparaxis tricolor)

Another discovery from Tumblr. I subscribe to several people there who regular blog about flowers and gardening and the photo below popped in my feed. I don’t know much about them, but this photo led to me find out a but more. This is always the great judge of any blog or blog post, the ability to move me to further research or action.

Harlequin Flower Sparaxis

Discovered via Tumblr User FlowersGardenLove

Sparaxis (Harlequin Flower) is a genus in the family Iridaceae with about 13 species endemic to Cape ProvinceSouth Africa.

All are perennials that grow during the wet winter season, flower in spring and survive underground as dormant corms over summer. Their conspicuous flowers have six tepals, which in most species are equal in size and shape.

Sparaxis bulbifera is the commonest in cultivation, with flowers from cream to yellow or purple. S. grandiflora is a similar but larger plant. Sparaxis tricolor has bright red flowers with yellow and black centres. Many named hybrid cultivars were bred from S. bulbifera and S. tricolor.

A group of species with asymmetrical flowers marked in mauve and yellow, including Sparaxis variegata and Sparaxis villosa, was formerly treated as the genus Synnotia.

The genus name is derived from the Greek word sparasso, meaning “to tear”, and alludes to the shape of the floral bracts.[1] — Wikipedia


More information on Harlequin flower (Sparaxis tricolor):
Some of these books may be available at your local library! 

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

Comments are closed.