Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I planted these bulbs about five years ago because they were small and I liked the picture on the package. This lush batch is the only group still coming up except for a few smaller ones on the shady side of the yard.

The name slipped my mind but in some cobwebbed corner of my brain were stored some lingering wisps of information -- it starts with an "i," it's a short word with some strong consonants like "x" . . . .

An online search of "ixta" yielded only Mexican volcanoes and New York restaurants -- very interesting but not what I was looking for.

"Ixtia" yielded a Guatemalan musical group (I think) and some obscure business just setting up its web site. Finally the Great Google took pity on me and asked helpfully "Do you mean 'ixia'?"

Bingo! A flood of information ensued about the South African Cornflower or Wand Flower or -- Ixia flower, including many photos in diverse shades, including the coveted ixia veridiflora, with its pale green to turquoise blossoms.

The species we have growing in our yard is called ixia acaulis, the White Emperor, an appropriately regal name for this stunning flower which I stop to admire almost every day.

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