Common name: Harlequin Flower
Sparaxis bulbifera (L.) Ker Gawl. APNI*
Description: Herb 15–55 cm high; corm 10–15 mm diam.
Leaves 5–9, linear to sword-shaped, 10–30 cm long, 4–10 mm wide, acute; bulbils several in most leaf axils.
Scape 1–3-branched; spike flexuous, 2–6-flowered; spathe bracts 1.5–2.5 cm long, deeply lacerate with 2–4 rigid points, white with minute brown streaks, tip usually red-brown. Perianth funnel-shaped; tube c. 15 mm long, yellow; lobes oblanceolate, 25–28 mm long, 10–12 mm wide, white to cream-coloured, purple flushed on outside, less often pure white, pale yellow or purple. Stamens with anthers on 1 side of the style. Style arched, exceeding anthers; branches filiform, c. 10 mm long, white.
Capsule c. 10 mm long, light green; seeds c. 2 mm diam., globose, black or reddish black.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows along roadsides, and on vacant land and disturbed bushland; naturalized locally in Sydney region. Native of S Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *CT
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.