Family: Iridaceae
Common Name: Black Iris

This South African genus of ten species has the usual sword-like leaves of the iris, though the flowers are greenish brown, splashed with purple. They have a pungent, rather offensive smell, but are decorative. Each flower lasts a short time but they bloom for some months.


F. crispa has intricately marked, deep brown and yellow, upward-facing flowers, 7-10 cm (3-4 in) across, in spring and early summer. It grows to a height of 45 cm (18 in). The stem-clasping leaves become progressively smaller as they extend up the stem.


Black irises are sensitive to frost and so are usually grown in an intermediate green-house. Use deep pots of soil-based potting com­post. Provide maximum light. Do not water in the summer dormant period but water moder­ately in the growing period. Outdoors grow in well-drained soil with sun or partial shade. Propagate from offsets when dormant.


Zone 10.

Ferocactus      Festuca