Ixiolirion is a small genus of perennial cormous herbs in the Ixioliriaceae family, with about 3 species widely distributed in central and southwestern Asia, and extending into China. According to the Flora of China this genus also occurs in Egypt. While cultivated for well over a century, and available where better selections of Dutch bulbs are sold in the fall, this highly ornamental genus is rarely seen in cultivation.

Ixiolirion tataricum Flowering the end of May and early June, slender plants growing to about 12" tall put on a fine display of royal blue trumpets, reminiscent of Triteleia. Many species names of Ixiolirion can be found, but most are reduced to synonym with I. tataricum, with two varieties described: var. ixiolirioides and var. tataricum. There is also a Chinese endemic species, Ixiolirion songaricum. Photos 1 and 2 by Mark McDonough. Photo 3 of seed by David Pilling.

Ixiolirion tataricum, Mark McDonoughIxiolirion tataricum, Mark McDonoughIxiolirion tataricum, David Pilling

This photo, taken by Gideon Pisanty, shows a wild plant among other wildflowers.

Ixiolirion tataricum among wildflowers, Gideon Pisanty

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