Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Elizabeth McClintock, except as specified

Perennial, bulbed, cormed, or rhizomed
Stem generally erect
Leaves generally basal (a few cauline), 2-ranked, ± linear, generally grass-like, generally sharply folded along midrib; bases overlapping, sheathing
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, ± terminal, or flowers solitary; bracts ± like leaf bases, sheathing
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium fused to ovary; perianth parts generally fused into tube above ovary, generally petal-like, in 2 series of 3, outer (sepals) generally ± like inner (petals); stamens 3, generally attached to sepals, filaments fused below into a tube or not; ovary inferior, 3-chambered, placentas generally axile, style 1, each of 3 branches entire or 2-branched or -lobed, petal-like or not, with stigma on under surface instead of at tip
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds few–many
Genera in family: 80 genera, ± 1500 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Iris, Gladiolus, Crocus, Freesia ).


Perennial; corms rounded, coating fibrous
Inflorescence: spike, branched below or not; flowers facing in 2 opposite directions, appearing to be in 1 plane, each subtended by 2 leathery, entire bracts
Flower asymmetric, sessile; perianth funnel-shaped, tube bent, lobes ± equal, oblong or lanceolate; stamens attached to perianth throat; style ± = stamens, branches each 2-lobed
Fruit oblong
Species in genus: ± 60 species: s Africa
Etymology: (Sir William Watson, English botanist-physician, 1715–1787)


W. marginata (L.f.) Ker Gawl.

Stem 1–1.5 m
Leaves 3–4, 45–80 cm, < 5 cm wide; bulblets 0
Inflorescence > 30-flowered, generally dense
Flower: perianth 3.5–4.5 cm, rose-pink, tube < 2 cm, gradually bent, lobes 1–1.5 cm, ovate-oblong
Ecology: Disturbed ground, roadsides
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa
Sometimes persisting from garden waste.

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