Ixia maculata
Common Name: ixia
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow to orange-yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8 with protection. In St. Louis, plant corms 2-3” deep in spring after last frost date in organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Reduce watering after bloom. When foliage turns yellow (summer), dig corms and store in a cool location in a dry medium until the following spring. If grown in containers, plant 1” deep in spring, 5-6 corms per 6” pot. Overwinter indoors dry in the containers or lift bulbs and store as if grown in the ground.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ixia maculata, commonly called corn lily or corn bells, is an iris family member that is native to the Cape Province of South Africa. Clusters of yellow to orange-yellow, 6-petaled, cup-shaped flowers (to 2.5” diameter) bloom in late spring atop wiry stems typically rising 10-20” tall. Flowers have dark centers. Grass-like, often twisted leaves. Plants go dormant by mid-summer. This species is a parent of many garden hybrids which come in a wider range of flower colors, including shades of yellow, red, orange, pink and creamy white with dark centers.

Genus name comes from the Greek word ixia meaning bird-lime from the sticky sap of these South African plants.

Specific epithet means spotted.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Borders or containers.