Scientific Name:
Sparaxis tricolor (Schneev.) Ker Gawl. in Ker Gawler, Ann. Bot. [König & Sims] 1: 225 (1804)
  • = Ixia tricolor Schneev. in Schneevoogt, Icon. Pl. Rar. (Schneevoogt) Pl. 39 (1794)
Vernacular Name(s):
Harlequin flower; Velvet flower

Tufted, grass-like, to 20 cm high. Corm c. 2 × 1.5–2 cm; tunic grey-brown, closely woven. Leaves to 20 × 0.6–1 cm reaching to c. level of lowest flowers in basal fan; cormils few in lowermost leaf-axils. Inflorescence a spike; spathe-valves 2–3 cm long, marked with minute red-brown flecks, entire or lacerate at tip. Flowers (1)–2–5, ± 4 cm long, 4–5 cm diam.; tube c. 1 cm long, enclosed by spathe-valves; lobes variously coloured from deep orange-red through scarlet-red to dark purple-red, internally all with a dark brown blotch above bright yellow tube. Stamens symmetrical. Capsule not seen.

[From: Healy and Edgar (1980) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 3.]


Flowering: Sep.–Oct.

Hobbs, J.; Hatch, T. 1994: Bulbs for New Zealand Gardens. Godwit Press, Auckland.
Ker Gawler, J.B. 1804: Ensatarum Ordo. Annals of Botany [Edited by König & Sims] 1: 219–247.
Schneevoogt, G.V. 1792–1795: Icones Plantarum Rariorum. Plaat, Haarlem.