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Genus Ixia Family Iridaceae

Description: Small perennial herbs with annual leaves and flowers; corm globose to ovoid, tunic fibrous.

Leaves few, mainly basal, distichous, linear to sword-shaped, veins prominent.

Flowering stem erect, slender, wiry, sometimes branched; spike distichous or flowers spirally arranged, few–many-flowered; spathe bracts membranous or papery, truncate, shortly toothed or cuspidate, subequal, inner usually shortly 2-fid; spathes 1-flowered. Flowers erect, usually actinomorphic. Perianth tube straight, narrow-cylindrical, ± widened at mouth; lobes ± equal, spreading, oblong to obovate. Stamens with anthers usually exserted, regularly spaced around style. Style filiform, included or exserted, 3-branched; branches slightly broadened apically [or conduplicate], short, spreading, entire.

Capsule globose to oblong, membranous; seeds numerous, globose, smooth, glossy.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 49 species, southern Africa. Australia: 4–6 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.

Many species and their hybrids are in cultivation.

Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Bracts membranous, translucent whitish to pink, 3–7 mm long2
Bracts papery, the upper half rust-coloured or densely streaked brown, 8–14 mm longIxia maculata
2Perianth tube 6–14 mm long; bracts whitishIxia polystachya
Perianth tube 4–7 mm long; bracts tinged or veined with pink
                       Back to 1
Ixia flexuosa

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