T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ixia (Genus) African corn lily

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Ixioideae
Tribe: Ixieae
Genus: Ixia
Species: There are many hybrids
Common name: African corn lily

Ixia is a genus of flowering cormous plants native to the Cape Provinces of South Africa. It is in the Iridaceae family and Ixioideae subfamily. Ixia species tend to hybridise, so sometimes it is difficult to tell whether individuals belong to particular species.
It is an annually renewed corm that reproduces by cormels on stolons and by seed. The seeds can persist for up to 5 years. Dispersal is by water or soil movement. 

The plant has sword-like leaves and long wiry stems with star-shaped flowers. Flowering occurs August tgo October. It usually prefers well-drained soil. This species has escaped cultivation in New Zealand.

Photographed growing on waste land in New Plymouth.