Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ferraria crispa--Starfish Iris

Ferraria crispa is blooming now at the UC Botanical Garden. I love these flowers! At a distance, they fade into the foliage, but up close, the detail is amazing! The spots and crisped edges look like something from another world. 

Easy to grow if you have good drainage, it can even take over your garden. It is listed as a weed in Australia.  Needs summer drought. Can be grown indoor. Some people have trouble getting it to bloom.

Annie's Annuals calls it a "freaky flower" and I think they are right. 

Reported both as smelling bad and with a vanilla fragrance. Maybe that is due to variation in the plant, but maybe due to variation in human noses. I forgot to test it, so no report from me.

This plant has many interesting common names. Sea Spider. Black Flag. Starfish Lily. Starfish Iris. It isn't black; it is in the Iris family and looks more like a starfish than a spider, so I vote for Starfish Iris.

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