This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Usually dwarf bulbous plants with slender wiry steins bearing simple or branched spikes of gaily coloured flowers. Perianth with a long slender tube and a regular salver-shaped limb. Stamens in the throat free or connate; stigmas narrow, linear, recurved. Species numerous, all South African, and very beautiful, but better suited for pot culture than in the open ground. The name is from ixia, birdlime, in reference to the nature of the juice. Almost every colour is represented in this genus, including one of the most beautiful greens. The following are some of the handsomest: - I. tricolor, yellow in the centre and red in the circumference, the two colours separated by a band of black; I. bulbifera, yellow; I, liliago, white within, lilac without; I. grandiflora, large dark purple flowers bordered with a narrow band of yellow; I. viridiflora, a very beautiful plant with a slender stem about a yard high, bearing a long cluster of green flowers with a blue centre; I. maculdta, white with violet and rose centre; I. conica, orange with black centre; I. patens, bright rosy carmine striped with deep purple; and numerous other equally beautiful species and garden varieties.