I have Ferraria crispa in bloom now. Must be one of the oddest flowers in
existance! The plant resembles a small gladiolus or a freesia. The
inch-wide flowers are flat to reflexed, sort of a mustard-yellow with dark
brown spotting and with the extraordinarily "crisped" petal edges the name
advertises. Each flower only lasts a day, but many are produced in
succession. I have two pots, each with two spikes, so expect a lot of
flowers over a period of about a month.
After blooming, I let the plants grow until the foliage starts to yellow,
then dry them out and store them in a warm place until next August, when I
take the corms out and repot them in fresh soil. This South Africa irid is
very easy to grow and multiplies rapidly.
Just one drawback--like many desert or semi-desert plants, this species i s
evidently pollinated by carrion flies (the odd color scheme may be a visual
mimicry of rotting meat). It has a very disagreeable odor and so is not
the ideal house plant!
Best wishes, Bill
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374