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Peter Goldblatt, except as noted

[(Annual), shrub], perennial herb generally from [bulb], corm, or rhizome. Stem: generally erect, generally ± round in ×-section. Leaf: generally basal (few cauline), 2-ranked, ± sword-shaped, blade edge-wise to stem, with midvein or not; bases overlapped, sheathing. Inflorescence: generally ± terminal; spikes, umbel-like cymes, or flowers 1; flowers in spikes or 1 subtended by 2 subopposite flower bracts; umbel-like cymes enclosed by 2 subopposite, generally large, leaf-like inflorescence bracts, including various flower bracts. Flower: bisexual (unisexual), radial, with stamens erect, enclosing style, or bilateral, with stamens, style to 1 side, stamens not enclosing style; perianth radial, parts free or generally fused into tube above ovary, generally petal-like, in 2 series of 3, outer ± like inner (or not, in Iris, parts in that genus called sepals, petals), upper ± like lower or not; stamens 3, attached at base of outer 3 perianth parts or in tube, generally free; ovary inferior [(superior)], [(1)]3-chambered, placentas axile [(parietal)], style 1, branches 3, entire to 2-branched, thread- or petal-like with stigma abaxial, proximal to tip. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: few to many.
± 65 genera, ± 2050 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Crocus, Dietes, Freesia, Gladiolus, Iris, Sisyrinchium). [Goldblatt & Manning 2008 The Iris Family: Natural History and Classification. Timber Press] Gladiolus italicus Mill., Gladiolus tristis L. are urban weeds. Sparaxis grandiflora (D. Delaroche) Ker Gawl., Sparaxis tricolor (Schneev.) Ker Gawl. are waifs. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Iridaceae

Perennial herb; corm generally round, cover fibrous. Stem: erect, branched or not. Inflorescence: spike; flowers few to many, flower bracts generally membranous, outer 3-lobed to -toothed, inner 2-lobed or -toothed. Flower: generally radial; perianth ± salverform or bell-shaped, tube straight, linear or funnel-shaped, lobes ± equal, spreading; stamens free; style branches entire. Fruit: thin-walled. Seed: many, small, rounded, coat hard.
± 75 species: southern Africa. (Greek: ixias, Loranthus)
Unabridged etymology: (Greek: ixias, classically the 'chameleon plant' (Loranthus), possibly because the seeds of those plants are sticky like a chameleon's tongue, but evidently applied arbitrarily by Linnaeus to these plants)

Stem: 20–50 cm, generally unbranched. Leaf: basal 5–8, 10–35 cm, < 5 mm wide, often twisted. Inflorescence: generally 4–12-flowered, dense. Flower: perianth orange or yellow, dark brown in center, with pale star in center or not, tube 5–10 mm, lobes 15–20 mm, spreading; filaments generally partly united, shorter than anthers; anthers 7–9 mm; style dividing below anther level.
Uncommon. Urban areas, disturbed coastal dunes; < 50 m. San Francisco Bay Area; native to southern Africa. Apr [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Ixia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Ixia maculata
See CalPhotos for additional images
Albert P. Bekker © 1999 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Ixia maculata Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.