Scientific nameIxias are bulbs from the iris family. Ixia is a variable genus with many flower colours that hybridise easily. Ixias are exclusively winter-growing, summer-dormant plants. It is now confined to a few isolated and declining populations. Ixia are pollinated by monkey beetles, flies, butterflies and bees. See: http://pza.sanbi.org/ixia-viridiflora.
Little information is available so the following comes from Ixia viridiflora: "Although Ixia viridiflora corms do multiply by producing offsets, the corms are relatively short-lived and constantly need to be re-propagated from seed. Seed should be sown in autumn (April-May)in a sunny spot, in well-drained medium at a depth of 3-5 mm. Sow thinly and allow good ventilation, otherwise damping off may occur. It is best to use a seed tray that is at least 10 cm deep, or raised seed beds. Keep the soil moist and germination should occur in three to four weeks. Ixia viridiflora is a rapid grower, and can produce its first flowers only seven months after germinating although most seedlings will flower in their second season. It is best to leave the seedlings undisturbed until after their second season." Quick to flower from seed but vulnerable to rotting in poorly drained soil so it must be kept completely dry in summer. Keep in a container to keep them from porcupine and molerat predation after flowering.
Ixias have been cultivated for more than 250 years in Europe and hybridise easily. It is vulnerable to rotting in poorly drained soil so it must be kept completely dry in summer. Keep in a container to keep them from porcupine and molerat predation after flowering. "Corms should be planted in autumn (April-May) while still dormant. You will need a pot at least 30 cm in diameter. Place a layer of stone chips over the drainage holes and fill three quarters of the pot with a freely-draining soil mix, e.g. equal parts coarse rivers and and fine compost (leaf mould). Plant the corms in a 1-cm layer of pure river sand and cover with a 1-cm layer of the soil mix. Water thoroughly immediately after planting and place in a spot that gets at least half-day sun. Once growth becomes visible, a good drenching every ten days is recommended. Because Ixia viridiflora is tall, it may need to be staked if your garden is windy. Inorganic fertilizers should be avoided, particularly high nitrogen fertilizers, but organic fertilizers can be used sparingly. When the leaves begin to dry, stop watering altogether. The corms can be left in the pot, provided it is stored in a cool, dry spot. Ixias in containers are susceptible to mealy bug infestation of the corms. This is eventually fatal and should be treated with a drench of chlorpyrifos. Likewise, during storage, it is best to dust them with bexadust to keep the mealy bugs off. The foliage and developing flower buds can also be attacked by aphids and red-spidermite, but seldom severely enough to require an insecticide. The corms are susceptible to attack by fungi causing rotting and can be dusted with fungicides like 50:50 captab:iprodione prior to planting."
We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!
Conservation status: Least Concern
This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.
Suitable for wet sites
Ixia paniculata is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos