Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Ferraria crispa - Starfish Iris

Groovy!  The bizarre Ferraria crispa - the "Starfish Iris" - looks like it crawled out of the sea!  This rare Iris relative from South Africa has beautifully intricate blooms with frilly edges, like a psychedelic throw-pillow from the 1960s.  As if that weren't enough, the blooms have a wonderful sweet scent!  Despite its exotic look, it happens to be easy to grow.  Mature bulbs are rarely seen for sale.

Ferraria crispa - Starfish Iris

Ferraria crispa is a winter-growing bulb that flowers in spring, then goes dormant for the summer.  Its attractive leaves emerge from small corms in autumn.  The leaves grow about a foot tall and have a thick, fleshy texture.  In late winter or early spring, the 1.5 inch flowers appear.  These fascinating, ruffled blooms have deep-purple spots across white petals, and are highlighted with bright orange anthers.  Some Ferraria species have an unpleasant scent, but this one has a deliciously sweet aroma that reminds me of vanilla!  The plants multiply readily by making many corms, which you may separate.  Each corm produces 2 or 3 flower stems.

Ferraria crispa - Starfish Iris

The Starfish Iris does best in mild, frost-free temperatures during its winter growing period.  It grows best between 40 and 75 degrees F (4-24C) from October through April in the Northern hemisphere (April to October in the Southern hemisphere).  It can usually handle warmer temperatures provided that nights are cool (below 65F / 18C).  It probably can tolerate an occasional, light frost, but i recommend protecting it from freezing temperatures.

The corms grow well in a small container in sandy soil.  A good soil mix is 1 part potting soil to 2 parts coarse sand.  Keep the soil moist during the growing season, and give occasional, light feedings.  Mostly-sunny conditions are best throughout winter & spring.  During the summer dormant period, the corms should be kept dry.

Ferraria crispa - Spider Iris

 

Check availability

 

Tips on planting the bulbs

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted