Ixia (IK-see-a), also known as African Corn Lily or wand flower, is a genus of about 50 flowering plants native to South Africa that belongs to the same family as irises and gladioli. In the wild, they can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands and marshes.
The plant produces clusters of star-shaped flowers and attractive grass-like foliage. The lightly-fragranced flowers come in rainbow of colours, including white, cream, pink, red, purple and orange and can be distinguished by their contrasting dark centers.
Gardeners should plant the bulbs in the fall. They will do best in full sun and well-drained, sandy soils. Plant in masses for the best effect. They are ideal for borders and are commonly grown as potted plants.
Ixias make beautiful, exotic cut flowers and will last 7-10 days. Their bright blooms would pair up well with tropical flowers. They can be used as a filler flower in large arrangements. Ixias are sensitive to ethylene gas and should avoid mature fruits and vegetables, dying flowers and excess heat.
Climate zones: 7-10
Fun Flower Facts about Ixia:
- the name ixia, came from the Greek word ixos, meaning “bird lime” refers to the sticky sap of the plant
- the flowers will not open on stems, if cut immaturely
- in the language of flowers, ixia symbolizes happiness