Ferraria ferrariola (Spider Iris)

Scientific Name

Ferraria ferrariola (Jacq.) Willd.

Common Names

Spider Iris, Starfish Lily

Synonyms

Moraea ferrariola (basionym), Ferraria angustifolia, Ferraria antherosa, Ferraria longa, Ferraria minor, Ferraria viridiflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Ferraria

Flower

Color: Greenish-white, or pale greenish-yellow to greenish-blue
Bloom Time: Summer to early fall

Description

Ferraria ferrariola is a very rare flowering plant with greenish-white or pale greenish-yellow to greenish-blue flowers with the outer segments finely striped with short dark lines. Other distinguishing characteristics are a stem not covered with leaf sheaths and red or purple-spotted basal leaf sheaths. It is sweetly scented. Each bloom lasts only a day, but are borne over two months.

Ferraria ferrariola - Spider Iris
Photo via davesgarden.com

How to Grow and Care

Ferrarias are easy bulbs to grow. These plants prefer to be located in full sun or semi-shade in loamy, well-drained soil just beneath the surface (1-2 inches/2.5-5 cm). Plants in too much shade will fail to bloom and will eventually die out. The rarer species are generally best grown in pots or containers.

The care of Ferraria corms doesn't require too much either. Once their spring flowering has completed, the foliage will slowly begin to fade, and the Ferraria flowers go dormant in summer. During this time, all watering should be limited.

Bring any container-grown plants indoors for overwintering and provide a generous amount of mulch for winter protection to those growing outdoors.

Established Ferraria plants will produce large clumps each year. These can be easily divided in the spring when overcrowding becomes a problem or if additional plants are desired elsewhere in the garden. See more at How to Grow and Care for Ferraria.

Origin

Native to the western coast of South Africa.

Links

BACK TO genus Ferraria
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