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.
Half-hardy South African tuberous-rooted herbs with narrow equitant and branching stems bearing pedunculate flowers which exceed the spathaceous bracts. Perianth with the 3 inner segments much smaller than the outer. Filaments united in a tube. This genus was named in honour of a Swiss physician. There are several ornamental species, bat being tender they are little grown. V. glaucopis has the large outer perianth-segments of a pure white with a blue spot in the centre encircled with brown. V, villbsa, syn. Morcba villosa, has lilac flowers whose outer perianth-lobes have a blue blotch separated by a black stripe from the orange centre.