Watsonia meriana (L.) Mill. APNI*
Synonyms: Watsonia fulgens (Andrews) Pers. APNI*
Description: Herb 1–2 m high; corm 4–8 cm diam., tunic of netted fibres; bulbils ovoid, acuminate in clusters of 4–12, replacing flowers in lower spathes of spike.
Basal leaves sword-shaped, 50–80 cm long, 1–4.5 cm wide, midvein prominent.
Spike usually unbranched, 20–40 cm long; flowers 3–4 ca apart; spathes triangular to oblong, 1.7–2.5 cm long, herbaceous with scarious red-brown upper portion. Flowers zygomorphic. Perianth orange to red, rarely pink or purple; tube 3.5–4.5 cm long, narrow at base, curved and expanded into a cylindrical portion 2.5–3 cm long; lobes oblong to obovate, acute or apiculate, 1.8–2.5 cm long, ca 1.3 cm wide; dorsal lobe hooded. Style longer than perianth; branches ca 0.5 cm long, 2-fid.
Capsule not seen.
Distribution and occurrence: A locally abundant weed of roadsides, unimproved pastures and wasteland; chiefly coastal districts, inland to Lawson and Singleton areas. Native of S Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *CT, ?NWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown (1993); edited KL Wilson (Oct 2015)
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.