Tigridia: tiger flower

Height 40-45cm (16-18in)

Planting distance 15cm (6in)

Flowers mid summer to early autumn Rich, well-drained soil

Warm sheltered position

Corms available in spring

The flowers of Tigridia pauonia, a bulbous plant from Central America, last only a few hours in the morning, but they look so exotic that it’s worth finding a small space for them in the garden.

They come out in succession from mid summer to early autumn – brilliant yellows, crimsons, oranges and whites, plain or speckled, and usually sold as a mixture. Several butterfly-like flowers are carried on a central flower stem 40-45cm (16-18in) high. They are accompanied by an elegant fan of upright pleated leaves.

The tiger flower is only half-hardy so, in the British climate, a sheltered sunny spot is essential if it is to survive. Coming in such strong colours, it is best grown on its own in a small group.

Cultivation

Plant the corms in rich well- drained soil from late spring, when the soil begins to warm up. Set each corm 8-10cm (3-4in) deep and 15cm (6in) apart. During the growing season water them well and apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.

Lift in autumn when the leaves are dying back, before the first severe frosts, and store in dry sand or compost in a frost-free place. Keep the compost just moist enough to prevent the corms from shrivelling. Replant in late spring. In mild sheltered districts, the corms can be left in the ground where they will slowly multiply and flower more profusely.

Propagation

Stock is best increased by planting new corms.

Pests and diseases

Corms sometimes suffer from storage rot.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Tigridia: tiger flower

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