This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Ixia Longiflora. Long-FlowerED Ixia
Cor. 6-partita, campanulata, regularis. Stigmata 3.
IXIA longiflora foliis ensiformibus linearibus strictis, tubo filiformi longissimo. Ait. Kew. v. 4. p. 58.
GLADIOLUS longiflorus caule tereti, tubo longissimo, spathis foliisque linearibus glabris. Linn. Suppl. p. 96. Gmel. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 86.
We are not acquainted with a tribe of plants which stand more in need of elucidation than those of this genus; of the vast numbers imported from the Cape within these few years, where they are chiefly natives, and that for the most part by way of Holland, few comparatively are well ascertained; some of them appear subject to great variation, both in the size and colour of their blossoms (whether in their wild state they are thus inconstant, or whether there are seminal varieties raised by the persevering industry of the Dutch Florists, we have not yet had it in our power satisfactorily to ascertain); others like the present one have their characters strongly marked, and less variable; in general they are plants of easy culture, requiring chiefly to be protected from the effects of frost, the least degree of which is presently fatal to most of them.
The treatment recommended for the Ixia flexuosa is applicable to this and the other Cape species.
According to the Hort. Kew. this species was introduced by Mr. Masson in the year 1774.
It flowers from April to June.