Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ferraria crispa--Spider Iris

Spider Iris is stunning! Just stunning! The deep maroon-brown petals with a green lettuce edge surround an animal print central flower. Each flower only lasts for a short time, but it has many, making for a long bloom season. Native to South Africa and in bloom now at the UC Botanical Garden. Also available for sale on the plant deck.

Most species in this genus like a Mediterranean climate, winter wet, summer dry. Most smell awful and are pollinated by flies, but this one smells like vanilla. I wonder what pollinates it....? The flowers of this species vary widely, from almost black to pale yellow. They are small, and tend to fade into the dirt and foliage, but it worth the hunt to find them.

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