Lily Lion Heart

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Ferraria crispa v. nortieri

Ferraria is genus in the Iridaceae family. There are approximately 15 species mainly growing in winter rainfall region. Their range extends from the southern tip of the African continent at Cape Agulhas to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in tropical Africa. They have deep-seated corms, and are grown for their wildly coloured, and ephemeral blooms. Although the flowers of the Ferraria genus are generally described as foul smelling, crispa has vanilla-scented blooms. Mine has bloomed for the first time, and next year should be even more buds. This for me, is one of the most bizarre, and beautiful flowers I have ever seen. They resemble a starfish, and have beautiful crinkly petals like a woman's ruffled blouse. The petals are brown, maroon, almost black, cream, or pale yellow, with a variety of stripes, blotches, and speckles. This August-September I return to South Africa to the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Namaqualand. I can't wait to see them in habitat.

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