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.
South African tuberous or rhizomatous herbs with ensiform leaves and spicate flowers arising from spathaceous bracts. Perianth with a narrow often very long tube, gradually widening into a bell-shaped or salver-shaped limb. Stamens ascending. Bracts scarious, toothed, not jagged as in Sparaxis. Several species of this genus are in cultivation, and better known under the name Tritonia. M. aurea with splendid orange-coloured flowers, makes a beautiful bed treated in the same way as Gladiolus.
M. fucata is yellow and scarlet, and M. rosea is rose and white.
There are several other South African genera which contribute a few handsome species, such as Babiana, Watsonia, and Witsenia; but they are strictly speaking greenhouse plants.