Ixia is a genus in the Iridaceae family with 50 species mainly from the western, southwestern, and southern winter-rainfall areas of the northern, western and eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. Information and photographs illustrating Ixia M-O can be found on this page.
Ixia maculata is found on granite and sandstone flats and slopes in the northwest and southwest Cape. It has orange to yellow flowers with a dark central ring and star-like center. It grows well in the ground in Northern California where it blooms in March or April. First three photos are by Mary Sue Ittner of garden plants. Fourth is by Michael Mace.
The first five photos taken below by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller show plants in bloom on the way to Darling, West Coast, September 2006 in two different colored populations. The last group were being pollinated by beetles. The last photo was taken by Cameron McMaster also near Darling September 2011.
Ixia marginifolia is found on stony slopes in renosterveld in the Roggeveld. It is similar to Ixia rapunculoides with pale blue to mauve flowers, but has well exserted filaments. The first three photographs were taken near Middlepos by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner September 2006. The fourth photo was taken by Alan Horstmann. The fifth photo of a second season seedling from Silverhill Seeds grown by M. Gastil-Buhl shows the leaves thickened at the margin and midrib.
Ixia metelerkampiae grows on sandstone mountain slopes in the southwest Cape and blooms from November to December. It grows to 70 cm high and has pale pink to bluish mauve or purplish lilac flowers with a minute maroon central star and small red marks at the base of each segment. Photos by Alan Horstmann and Mary Sue Ittner.
Ixia micrandra grows on rocky sandstone slopes and flats in the western and southern Cape. It has a short spike of 2 to 6 white to pink or mauve flowers with short exserted stamens and spreading tepals. The anthers are oblong. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster in Bredasdorp, Napier, and Drayton in the Overberg.
Ixia monadelpha has flowers that are violet, mauve, pink, apricot or white, rarely yellow, all with a contrasting center which is outlined with a circle of still another color. It flowers in spring and is found on wet sandy flats in the southwestern Cape. This one in violet and looking a little less than perfect after a fair amount of spring rain. Photo by Bob Rutemoeller of a violet one and by Mary Sue Ittner of a mustard colored one. Photos 3-5 by M. Gastil-Buhl show corms on a 1 mm grid, grown by Jim Duggan, who recommends part shade, and a bloom from those same corms, grown in full sun. The flowers opened successively up a 10 inch (26 cm) spike, spanning over a week in April, opening each morning and closing at dusk. The leaves began to brown before the flowers bloomed.
Photos below were taken by Cameron McMaster near Darling in the Western Cape September, 2011.
Ixia mostertii is known from three locations in the Upper Breede River Valley between Wolseley and Worcester. None of the locations was protected as of 2005, and the species was considered endangered. Flowers vary from white to deep pink, with a dark blue, purple, or blue-green center. More information is available here and here. Photo by Gordon Summerfield.
Ixia odorata grows on sandstone and granite slopes in the northwest and southwest Cape. It has small yellow or cream fragrant flowers. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner.
Ixia orientalis grows on flats and slopes in winter and summer rainfall areas and blooms in spring. It is the only species that extends into the Eastern Cape. Flowers are cream to mauve-pink and filaments are exserted. Photos from Cameron McMaster taken in the Eastern Cape. The second one was taken at Gaika's Kop.