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