Tigridia meleagris

Quick Characteristics:

Height: 30-45 cm (1-1.5 ft)
Flower Colors: pink, brown, purple, patterned

Tigridia meleagris is a common Mexican species and I have seen it out in the field far more often than I've seen some of its cousins. Unfortunately, the plant is very spindly and difficult to spot. There is usually one solitary, narrow, pleated leaf up to 35 cm in length on top of a stiff, wiry stem. It grows in deciduous jungle habitat 1000-1500 meters above sea level that has very pronounced rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season this habitat is very lush and full of an exuberance of vegetation of all kinds. Consequently, this species tends to be tall in order to grow higher than the other plants that tend to crowd it out where it grows. I have found this species difficult to cultivate because the potting medium needs to be bone-dry in the dry season to prevent the bulbs from rotting. The bulbs of this plant in the wild are difficult to extract from the ground without damaging them because they extend down into the soil up to 30 cm deep and like growing in pockets of soil among rocks. Unlike most other species of Tigridia, the flowers of this species are pendulous and are not held erect. I have never found this species to offset in the wild and it reproduces exclusively by seed. It flowers from July-September in its natural habitat.

Photos 1,2,3 by Dennis Szeszko of a plant photographed in the month of August in situ in Mexico State near the border with Michoacan. The last two photos are of interior and side views of the flowers in situ. Photos 4,5,6 were taken by Dale Denham-Logsdon in early August from El Divisidero which is just north of Ixtapan de la Sal, Estado de Mexico. Plants were growing in a road cut beneath a power line in a rocky soil at an altitude of about 1825 meters.

Tigridia meleagris, Dennis SzeszkoTigridia meleagris, interior view, Dennis SzeszkoTigridia meleagris, side view, Dennis SzeszkoTigridia meleagris, Dale Denham-LogsdonTigridia meleagris, Dale Denham-LogsdonTigridia meleagris, Dale Denham-Logsdon

Pictures of Tigridia meleagris taken by Ignacio Torres Garcia at Jesús del Monte, south of Morelia, Michoacán at 2100 metres on the 10th July, 2015. Differences in coloration are commonly seen in disjunct populations in this genus.

Tigridia meleagris, Ignacio Torres GarciaTigridia meleagris, Ignacio Torres GarciaTigridia meleagris, Ignacio Torres GarciaTigridia meleagris, Ignacio Torres Garcia

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