This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
If the great number of floral colors was not an acknowledged fact among many of the Irideases, the plant here represented could hardly be considered a simple variety of Gladiolus iridifolius of Jacquin. Although the type of this tribe appears pale and dull, with flowers of a grayish-blue, still, the plant before us is adorned with such rich vermilion orange, that it well deserves the epithet of fulgens.
Watsonia Iridifolia Ker Var Fulgens.
All the Watsonias are originally from the Cape of Good Hope. They have often been confounded with the genus Gladiolus, from which they only differ by slight shades, such as greater regularity in the form of the perianth, and particularly the cleft stigmas, with uniform divisions, instead of being simple and spread. Two of the prettiest species are the Watsonia meriana and the Watsonia aletroides, both of a bright rose color. The Watsonia iridifolia surpasses them in size, and rivals them in beauty; it somewhat resembles sword grass. Its stem, furnished towards the base with from four to seven ensiform leaves, rises a compact shaft, of three or six feet in height. The shaft greatly exceeds the leaves; it is often simple, but sometimes divided in vigorous specimens. The flowers are wanting in fragrance. The flowering begins in September,*and continues more than a month. This beautiful species is too rare in collections.