|Flower Colors:||orange, yellow|
|Flower Season:||mid summer to late summer|
Cypella herbertii (Lindl.) Herb. is native to Argentina and Uruguay and is the most widespread and common species of Cypella. Plants grow from 50 cm to 1.2 m tall in grasslands and hills. There are 4 recognized subspecies. This species is one of the most easy to grow and rewarding of South American irids. If well grown, it can flower for several months continuously. Grow the plants in a well-draining mix (about 1:1 organic:inorganic). They do well in a US one gallon pot (~3L). Keep the soil moist during the summer growing season and dryish in winter. Fertilize occasionally during active growth. In the winter, the plant will go dormant if water is withheld. In the San Francisco Bay Area, plants grown outdoors that get winter rain will stop growing but will not go completely dormant. When the weather warms up, new leaves and buds will appear.
This plant is easily grown from seeds. Sow the seeds in the same mix as above in spring, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Seeds can be sown in a smaller pot and then carefully unpotting the plants without disrupting the soil and placed into a one gallon pot. Conversely, seeds can be sown directly into a one gallon pot. The most vigorous seedlings will flower in the first year. Photo 1 was taken by Alessandro Marinello. Photos 2-3 were taken by Nhu Nguyen. The last photo is from Wylie Young.
Cypella herbertii ssp. brevicristata Ravenna is the more common subspecies with yellow or orange flowers. Its distribution is Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) to Uruguay. The stigma lobes are short. The first photo was taken by Nicholas Plummer who writes that the subspecies are distinguished by the length of the stigma lobes, but the two forms that he grows also differ in their color with this subspecies having clear yellow flowers. The second photo is from Lee Poulsen who thinks that his plants belong to this subspecies. The last photo from Germán Roitman.
Cypella herbertii ssp. herbertii has a native range is from S. Brazil to NE. Argentina. It has yellow or orange flowers. The stigma lobes are long. The first photo by Nicholas Plummer and the second by Germán Roitman.
Cypella herbertii subsp. reflexa Ravenna is native to Argentina (Entre Ríos).
Cypella herbertii ssp. wolffhuegeli (Hauman) Ravenna has a very restricted distribution in Argentina (Buenos Aires). It has pale yellow flowers. The style branches are free in the upper part. Photo by Germán Roitman.