Bessera is a cormous genus from Mexico some consider to belong to the Milla clade of the Themidaceae family. (This clade includes Behria, Dandya, Jaimehintonia, Milla, and Petronymphe). Behria is usually lumped in with Bessera but some argue that is should be considered a distinct genus so we have created a separate wiki page for it.
Bessera elegans is a species of showy, dainty plants from southwestern Mexico, growing on wiry stems 50 cm or taller carrying umbels of exquisite pendant parasol-shaped flowers in scarlet, crimson, pink, lavender and purple. The interior white markings are always interestingly patterned and striped. To fully appreciate their intricate beauty, one must look up into the umbel. Can be temperamental, but well worth the effort, needs to be kept dry while winter-dormant as cold temperatures and moisture equal rot. It needs warm temperatures to start into growth so is late to start growing in spring in cool climates. The first two pictures from Jana Ulmer are of a variety purchased from Telos Rare Bulbs that is orange-red with very striking markings in cream and has large flowers. The third photo taken by Susan Hayek is of a plant grown by Diana Chapman. The fourth photo was taken by Bill Dijk. The last photo was taken by Hans Joschko.
The first photo was taken by Dennis Szeszko in-situ in Mexico State at 1500 meters above sea level at the ecotone between oak forest and deciduous jungle. The second photo is an attempt to show the exotic-coloured green pollen that this species produces, juxtaposed by its very purple pistil, photo by Nhu Nguyen. The third photo shows the unique colours and iridescence of the foliage at the base of the plant at the time that the inflorescence is emerging, photo by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht.
The first photo below taken by Bill Dijk shows the same strikingly brightly coloured coral drops in purple. Photos #2-5 was taken by Nhu Nguyen of a specimen grown by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht. Photo #5 shows the irresistible teal-colored pollen. The last photo was taken by Hans Joschko.