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.
American bulbous dwarf plants with ensiform leaves as in Iris. The flowers are large and beautiful, but of short duration, always terminal, orange or yellow richly spotted, hence the name Tiger-Flower. Perianth-tube short, limb spreading, the outer segments larger than the inner. The filaments of the three stamens are connate in a long tube.
1. T. Pavonia. - This is the most popular and at the same time the most beautiful species. It is a native of Mexico, long since introduced into Europe. The flowers are large, from 5 to 6 inches across, with the three outer segments of the most brilliant crimson red, and the inner ones curiously marked with carmine and violet-purple upon a yellow ground.
A second species, or rather a variety of the same, is the Yellow Tiger-Flower, T. conchiflora, which differs only in having the exterior petals yellow. T. violacea is a pretty little miniature of the foregoing with the same habit and colouring on a smaller scale, and a lilac-amaranth ground. T. azurea is a lovely little plant, but the flowers last only a few hours. The ground colour of the outer petals here is azure-blue, and the interior petals are of a bright yellow bordered with the most intense blue, and yellow marbled with purple towards the centre.