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Sparaxis tricolor

harlequin flower

S. tricolor is a cormous perennial with narrow, upright leaves to 30cm long. In spring and early summer it produces stems, to about 45cm, bearing small clusters of red, orange or purple, widely-funnel-shaped flowers with yellow centres surrounded by black or dark red marks

Other common names
fluweeltjie
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Black Orange Purple Red Yellow Green
Summer Black Orange Purple Red Yellow Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Sparaxis are cormous perennials forming a fan-shaped tuft of linear or narrowly lance-shaped leaves, with funnel-shaped flowers borne in loose spikes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
South Africa (Cape)

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow under glass in good light but shaded from hot sun. In autumn, plant corms 20cm deep in loam-based potting compost with added sand and leaf mould. Water sparingly when in growth and keep cool; dry off as flowers fade and keep completely dry when dormant

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe or remove offsets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Mediterranean climate plants
Pruning

Remove spent flower stems and allow foliage to die down naturally

Pests

Generally problem free

Diseases

Generally problem free

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