Ixia viridiflora

Well, badthings@Flickr must be able to read my mind, because I’ve long wanted to have Ixia viridiflora on BPotD (original posted via the Flickr BPotD Group Pool). badthings also posts as MMW over on Two Gardens (today’s image was part of this post). Thank you!

Green ixia, or Groenkalossie in Afrikaans, is a cormous perennial native to “lower slopes of mountains in the Tulbagh District of Western Cape” in South Africa. It had a slightly larger range in the late 19th / early 20th century, when it occurred in two other Districts, but it has since been extirpated from both of these areas. Like many South African flowers, Plantzafrica.com provides an excellent resource for learning more: Ixia viridiflora.

The pollination syndrome of Ixia is known as cantharophily, or, pollination by beetles. The article above points to monkey beetles (the tribe Hopliini in the scarab family) as the primary pollinators. For an example of a monkey beetle pollinating a flower (in this case, a Moraea (Iridaceae)), see Flower Pollination by photographer Colin Paterson-Jones.

More photographs of Ixia viridiflora are available from the Pacific Bulb Society Wiki. An illiustration of the plant, from the Missouri Botanical Garden Rare Books Collection, is available here: Ixia viridflora.

Photography resource link: Long-time BPotD readers may remember this entry on The Art of Christian Staebler. I was thinking about Christian a couple weeks ago and wondering what he was working on these days — and a couple weeks later (out of the blue), he sent me an answer. scannography, the art of scanning, is a collaborative website run by Christian that highlights the work of scannographers from around the world.

Ixia viridiflora

11 responses to “Ixia viridiflora”

  1. ingrid

    Beautiful coloured flower. Thanks.

  2. Lynne

    Wow. That vivid teal blue color is very unusual. I can’t stop looking at it!

  3. J

    Incredible! I love the architecture of that plant…..combined with the color i’m stumped why it’s not a more popular plant? I think it would be a hit here in North America!

  4. Clint McInnes

    Maybe it WOULD be a hit, but if the beetles that pollinate it are not present, it wouldn’t really be viable.

  5. Beverley

    Ixia viridiflora – Z9 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Ixia viridiflora – Z10-11 – A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
    Ixia iks-ee-a From Gk. ixia [bird lime] referring to the sticky sap. viridiflora vi-ri-di-flo-ra. With green flowers. Dictionary of Plant Names, Coombes

  6. Jason Leary

    It’s colour is Christmas-like —one might also say ‘elfin- looking’ .

  7. Eric in SF

    The “original” link just goes back to this page.

  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Fixed – thanks Eric.

  9. Denis

    Clint,
    I’m sure it could either be hand pollinated or propagated asexually by either offsets or by tissue culture.
    Also, I wouldn’t rule out North American beetles acting as effective pollinators. After all, old world honey bees are effective pollinators of many new world plants, even though it took humans to bring them together in the blink of en evolutionary eye.

  10. Denis

    Speaking of pollinators, I’m wondering about the color and what it attracts. I got outbid a week or two ago on some seeds for Lachenalia viridiflora. It was nearly the same color, but has a very different structure.
    Is there a connection? Are they attracting a common pollinator with that color?

  11. Danica

    This is very lovely picture and info but some people need the full Taxonmoy of the plants you list

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