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Babiana rubrocyanea

One of the showiest of the Babianas, also known as "Wine Cups" or "Baboon flowers"; baboons are said to eat the corms. Reliable outdoors in the Bay Area.

Ferraria crispa

I always think of this flower as 'baroque'. This species can be quite robust, up to perhaps two feet tall, producing in succession many flowers which last one day each. To me, they smell strongly of Mennen's Anti-Fungal Foot Powder, and flies are very attracted to them. It's very amusing to see the flies wandering around with their backs bright orange from the pollen of this species: when a fly in the yard shows this adornment, I can tell this flower is in bloom.

Geissorhiza radians

I've heard these called both "Wine Cups" and "Sequins". I think that you will have to agree that this is a pretty spectacular flower. They are about an inch across, held no more that 4 to 6 inches off the ground on inconspicuous grassy foliage. I suspect that most of the Geissorhizas do in fact require a dry summer. I can't think of a nicer 'jewel' to stick in a well-drained crevice in a rock garden!

Gladiolus carmineus

One of the many Gladiolus species that you don't find in florists' or commercial nurseries. This lovely plant is basically a hysteranthous fall bloomer, i.e. the flowers appear without much foliage at the end of summer. They will take water during the summer, and appreciate a bit of shade.

Gladiolus stefaniae

This is one of my all-time favorite South African bulbs. The flowers are almost as large as a hybrid Glad, and the color to me is unbeatable. They are also fall bloomers. They are about as shocking an event as the bulb garden can produce: appearing above the dry surface of the bed like little crimson explosions before almost any other plants have woken up. Truly a 'must have!'

Gladiolus stefaniae

Another form of this fabulous South African.

Hesperantha pauciflora

The generic name here means "evening-flower" and in fact most of these open either in the afternoon or evening. The plants are tiny, and the flowers large; a good combination in my book. I suspect these also are obligate dry summer plants. The corms have a very amusing shape, like little buoys or land mines.

Hesperantha vaginata

These are shockers, and the color is very unusual for the genus, but in leaf and flower morphology they are otherwise typical Hesperanthas. They grow easily and abundantly for me.

Ixia viridiflora

This sea-green Ixia is justly famous. The color is very rare in a flower, and the contrast between the perhaps aquamarine outer part of the flower and the purple, almost black, center is striking. These seem to tolerate summer water, but also thrive where they bake dry.

Moraea calcicola

The Moraeas are close relatives of the fortnight lily and show more clearly than many of the other irids their relationship to true irises.

Moraea villosa

Probably the best-known of the genus: easy to grow, prolific and beautiful.

Romulea eximia

This genus is basically a southern extension of the European genus Crocus, and the plants are quite similar in most respects. The foliage is always grasslike. These plants are showy, easy, hardy and will naturalize in a suitable spot outside.

Romulea monadelpha

Romulea subfistulosa

Sparaxis elegans

Hybrids of this genus are often called "Harlequin Flowers". Very adaptable outside here.

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