Tigridia is a genus of about 30 species mainly from Mexico and Guatemala but extends south to Chile. They produce a succession of short lived flowers which are usually in bright colours. The rootstock is a tunicated bulb, found from 3 to 15 cm deep in the wild. Leaves are pleated in a broad fan. The best known species is Tigridia pavonia whose flowers are 10-15 cm (4 -6 inches) across in red, orange, yellow or white variously blotched in the centre. They commence growth in spring and generally die back during autumn. This genus was the subject of the topic of the week September 2003. An introduction was furnished by Alberto Castillo. In their 2008 book, The Iris Family: Natural History and Classification, Peter Goldblatt and John Manning included the four species of Rigidella that differed only in having a minute outer segment. They viewed this as merely an adaptation for hummingbird pollination. Also included were one of the species in the genus Colima and the genus Sessilanthera.
This page contains Tigridia A - L
Tigridia augusta is a diminutive, spring-flowering species found in the central Mexican altiplano. It grows in open fields and pastures at relatively high elevations (2350-2500 meters above sea level). The flowers appear in May at the onset of the rainy season before the foliage has fully developed. In its native habitat it flowers at the same time as T. mexicana. This species has been collected throughout the Tranverse Volcanic Belt from Jalisco to Puebla. This plant was previously known as Tigridia violacea. Photo by Dennis Szeszko.
Tigridia chiapensis native to Mexico and found in wet meadows is dormant in winter and flowers in summer. Grown and photographed by Rob Hamilton in the first photo and shown growing in Chiapas in the next two photos taken by Alfredo Gómez López. One of them shows a plant with an extra stem, petal, etc. The last photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner.
Tigridia dugesii is native to a semiarid area of Mexico. Grown and shown in the first photograph taken by Rob Hamilton. The second taken by Paul Tyerman is a close-up of the same species and the last two were photographed by Mary Sue Ittner at Telos Rare Bulbs.
Tigridia durangense is a summer grower from Mexico, is not an easy species to grow in a warm, humid climate, but the very striking flowers make it worth the effort. The flower diameter is approximately 40 mm. Note the yellow, anther-like processes on the inner tepals - an interesting case of floral deception. The first photo shows a flower of plants grown and photographed by Rogan Roth. The next two were photographed at Telos Rare Bulbs by Mary Sue Ittner.
Tigridia ehrenbergii is a tall species (80 cm) that grows in a dry tropical climate in Mexico in partially shaded places between 900 and 1600 meters. It's a very variable plant that is similiar to Tigridia hallbergii and Tigridia vanhouttei subsp. roldanii except that it has flowers with an unpleasant smell.
Tigridia ehrenbergii subsp. ehrenbergii from Puebla, Mexico. Photos by Verónica Chavez.
Tigridia ehrenbergii subsp. flavigera is the other subspecies.
Tigridia hallbergii is distributed in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico and in Guatemala where it grows in open pine forest in moist soils in partial shade at 900-3000 m. The plants are 30-60 cm high. This species can be grown as T. pavonia. It requires a good and constant watering in summer. It is beneficial to fertilize when the plant just comes out of dormancy. In dry-summer climates, the plants are very susceptible to mites that hide in between the folds of the leaves. In winter, allow the bulbs to dry out. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this plant can be grown outdoors but it should be watered and allow to break dormancy indoors where it is warmer.
The photos below were taken by Alfredo Gómez and contributed by Rafa Díez Dominguez, from San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
Tigridia hallbergii subsp. hallbergii is found in western Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guatemala. The flowers are dull maroon-purple. The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen in cultivation. It took 3 years for this bulb to bloom from seeds.
Tigridia hallbergii subsp. lloydii is known only from the type locality in Guerrero, Mexico. The plants are more robust than subsp. hallbergii. There are no basal leaves, and the flowers are yellow with maroon spotting.