Tigridia, also known as tiger flower or shell flower, is a genus of about 30 bulbous plants that belong to the Iridaceae family, which includes the iris, crocosmia, crocus, and freesia. Many of the species are native to Mexico and Guatemala.
Tigridias are valued for their large, showy flowers that come in variety of bright colours and attractive sword-like leaves. Flowers come in vibrant reds, pinks, yellows, whites and purples. These exotic beauties have 3 large outer petals and 3 small inner petals that are painted with dark red and purple spots. Several flowers are produced from one stalk. But as beautiful as they are, unfortunately, the flowers are short lived and only bloom for one day.
The most popular cultivated variety is the T. pavonia, which has large flowers measuring 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) across!
Tigridias are some of the easiest plants to grow. For the most visual impact in the garden, plant in large groups. They would look striking planted with ixia and red hot poker. The bulbs are planted in the early spring and and will die back in the fall. Plant in rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Adding some sand to the soil will ensure good drainage, as the bulbs tend to rot easily in waterlogged soils. In fact, these heat and drought tolerant plants do best in dry conditions. And like other bulbs, they should be lifted and stored after the flowering period.
Tigridia can be grown in containers.
Climate Zones: 7-10
Fun Flower Facts about the Tigridia:
- The flower is nicknamed Tiger Flower for its spotted center that looks like a heavily spotted South American panther.
- Other common names include: peacock flower, the jockey’s cap lily
- The roots are edible and were eaten by the Aztecs.