Family Iridaceae > Subfamily Crocoideae (Ixioideae) > Tribe Ixieae.
One of 15 species the Harlequin flower it has also been known as Ixia tricolor.
It is naturalised in large areas of Australia and is a weed in some.
Clumping plants growing from corms.
Leaves, up to 30 cm long, are in 2 ranks forming a basal fan.
The pale green, upright, linear to lanceolate leaves are under 3 cm wide.
They have a prominent midvein.
Inflorescences are spikes up to 45 cm high with up to 6 flowers.
Flowers have papery bracts with brown streaks and a split at the top.
The flowers are up to 8 cm across and have 6 similar tepals.
The tepal bases are fused into a tube under 1 cm long.
The flaring tepal lobes are bright orange with yellow bases.
A black band separates the orange and yellow areas.
The 3 stamens are free and have straight, yellow anthers.
The ovary is inferior and the style branches into three.
The many cultivars add a large range of colours in bi- or tri-coloured flowers.
Colours include white, magenta, apricot, lavender, maroon, pink, cream and shades of red to orange.
This is similar to Sparaxis tricolor and is described as having rose-pink tepal lobes with
yellow bases rimmed in dark purple-red.
The reddish-purple anthers are twisted.
With all the hybrids it can be difficult to distinguish the two.