This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(application obscure). Iridaceae. South American bulbs, resembling Iris.
Half-hardy: bulb tunicate: leaves radical or cauline: flowers 1-3 from a spathe, yellow, orange or blue; segments free, narrow or broadly un-guiculate, the outer ones spreading and the inner erect and somewhat recurved at the apex. The genus differs from Iris and Moraea in its stigmas, which are neither petal-like nor filiform, but erect, and in the anthers, which are broad, erect, not curved, bearing the pollen on their edges, also in the plaited leaves Perhaps a half-dozen species. - The bulbs should be set out in spring, lifted in fall and stored over winter. Prop, by offsets or by seed, which should be sown as soon as ripe. The blue-fid. species are presumably equally worthy of cultivation For the still showier C. caerulea, see Marica.
a. Style appendages spur-like.
Herbertii, Herb. Leaves about 1 ft. long, linear, acuminate, twice plaited, the angles of the plaits winged: scape 2-3 ft. high, erect, flexuose, glaucous, branched, many-fid.; flowers 3 in. across, chiefly yellow, odorless, soon withering; outer segments bearing a rather long cusp or tail. S. Brazil. Uruguay. Argentine. B.R. 949 (as Moraa) and B.M. 2599 (as Tigridia) show very distinct colors, but Baker says there is a lilac variety.
Lindl. Three to 4 ft., the stem glaucous, round and thickish: leaves not very close together, sheathing at the base, plicate and glaucous: flowers fleeting, at their best early in the morning, not unlike those of Iris versicolor, and the same color; style slender, broadening at the apex into a spur-like appendage. tropical S. Amer. - Has been offered under the name C. platensis, which is otherwise unknown in botanical and horticultural literature.
aa. Style appendages petal-like, flat.
Baker. Leaves 6-9 in. long, linear, narrowed gradually from the middle both ways, glabrous, plaited: flowers 2-3 in a solitary stalked cluster, soon withering, chiefly yellow; segments with a distinct long claw and a proportionately shorter and broader blade and a shorter cusp, at the base spotted brown. Peru. B.M. 6213.
N. Taylor, †