Watsonia is a genus in the Iridaceae family of over 50 species from southern Africa. This genus belongs to the subfamily Crocoideae and with Cyanixia , Micranthus, Pillansia, Savannosiphon, Thereianthus, and Zygotritonia the tribe Watsonieae. Species are centered in the southwestern Cape of South Africa but extend north into Namaqualand and east into the summer rainfall areas of eastern South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Growing from a corm, species are both evergreen and perennial. Many are quite tall with fans of sword-shaped leaves and spikes of showy (often many) flowers that are usually pink, bright red or orange. They are popular garden plants in countries where they are hardy with many attractive cultivars available. Their bright colors and tall flowering spikes can make them a very prominent part of the garden when in bloom. A few species have become aggressive weeds in Australia, New Zealand, and California, especially Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera. For more information consult Peter Goldblatt’s Watsonia monograph. Photos of a few of the species are shown below.

Watsonia aletroides, Mary Sue IttnerWatsonia amatolae, Cameron McMasterWatsonia angusta, Cameron McMasterWatsonia borbonica, Alan HorstmannWatsonia confusa, Rod SaundersWatsonia gladioloides, Aurora Peak, Cameron McMaster

For more photos and information about the species select the appropriate wiki page or click on the name in the table below:

Watsonia species
Watsonia aletroides Watsonia amatolae Watsonia angusta Watsonia beatricis
Watsonia borbonica Watsonia coccinea Watsonia confusa Watsonia densiflora
Watsonia emiliae Watsonia fourcadei Watsonia galpinii Watsonia gladioloides
Watsonia humilis Watsonia knysnana Watsonia laccata Watsonia latifolia
Watsonia marginata Watsonia marlothii Watsonia meriana Watsonia pillansii
Watsonia pulchra Watsonia rogersii Watsonia roseoalba Watsonia schlechteri
Watsonia socium Watsonia spectabilis Watsonia stenosiphon Watsonia vanderspuyae
Watsonia versfeldii Watsonia watsonioides Watsonia wilmaniae Watsonia zeyheri

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Page last modified on July 14, 2017, at 07:39 AM