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