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Best uses

A beautiful bulb (technically a corm) looks great in a pot or incorporated into a rockery or mixed plantings en masse. They look great coming up through gravel mulch between other plants. NOTE: Highly toxic to livestock

Physical characteristics

A small delicate, tall, perennial corm growing to 0.8m tall and 0.1m wide.

Flowers and foliage

This delicate little corm produces small blue iris-like flowers that each only flower for a day but are produced in succession up the stems. Flowering can last 6 -8 weeks, through late winter to spring. Leaves are green with a bluish tinge, long and narrow and die down after flowering.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun with well-drained soil.

Preparation for planting

This small corm is best planted or repotted as a dry bulb in summer, and is usually only available to buy as a dry bulb. Dig a hole large enough to take the bulbs easily, plant the bulb at a depth of approx two or three times the bulbs size.

Maintenance tips

Apply mulch annually to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture when needed. This bulb tends to prefer a mulch of stones or gravel to help with drainage. Feed sparingly as they require little nutrients. To propagate, the bulbs can be easily divided or you can grow them from fresh seed. Sow as soon as the seed is ripe, they may readily sow themselves around the garden if they are happy where they are situated. Seedlings usually take around three years to reach flowering size. Trim off flower stems once finished if you don't want seed and clear away leaves when they die down to keep the plant tidy.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

Attracts beneficial insects to the garden. NOTE: Highly toxic to livestock.

Pests and diseases

Protect from slugs and snails, they love the flowers.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

African Garden