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.
Similar to Ixia, but with a short perianth-tube widening into a funnel-shaped limb, and scarious lacerated or rarely entire bracts. Species numerous and beautiful, all from South Africa. Leaves ensiform; flowers on flexuous or zigzag scapes, large, distant and brilliantly coloured. S. tricolor is one of the handsomest and most widely spread species, and many very distinct and beautiful varieties have been raised from it. The name is derived from to lacerate, referring to the torn bracts.