Sparaxis: harlequin flower
Height 30-45cm (12-18in)
Planting distance 10cm (4in)
Flowers late spring to early summer
Sheltered sunny position
Corms available in autumn
Sparaxis tricolor is one of the few species in this South African genus available in Britain. It thrives in mild districts and elsewhere must be given a sheltered sunny location in south-facing rock gardens or at the foot of warm walls. Thecome in an attractive array of bright colours -shades of red, purple, yellow and white and are excellent for cutting. They are usually sold as a mixture.
Plant the corms 7.5-10cm (3-4in) deep and 10cm (4in) apart inin rich well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny site. Mulch with shredded forest bark after planting. Keep the ground free of weeds.
Lift when the leaves die down in mid summer. The corms can be stored in a frost-free place over winter and replanted the following spring, but they often start sprouting too soon. It’s easier just to plant new ones every year.
Increase stock with new bulbs.
Pests and diseases