Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of monocotylodonous plants, of the order Irideæ, and tribe Ixieæ. It is characterized by flowers with a short perianth-tube enlarged and bell-shaped above, unilateral erect stamens, and slender undivided recurved style-branches. The fruit is a membranous three-valved loculicidal capsule. There are 5 (or as some regard them 11) species, all natives of the Cape of Good Hope. They are bulbous plants with a slender stem bearing a few flat or sword-shaped erect or curving leaves, and handsome flowers, each solitary and sessile within a thin dry fringed spathe, marked with brown lines. They are valued as summer-flowering bulbs, and numerous low-growing varieties are in cultivation, especially of S. tricolor and S. grandiflora, of various colors from white to crimson, generally with a dark ceuter. The bulb of S. bulbifera is edible. See
- n. deciduous perennial herbs of South Africa
“The long fronds of the sparaxis bowed at her small, brown-shod feet, some bearing seed-pods, others rows of pink bells, or yellow -- a fairy chime.”
“For easy, reliable and colorful, it's hard to go wrong with sparaxis (harlequin flower) and ixia (corn lily).”
“The five-petaled, widely funneled sparaxis flowers, held on pendent sprays, often feature a second color at their centers and curious papery sheaths that the flowers unfurl from in early spring.”
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