Tritonia crocata

Tritonia – Flame Freesia.

Family Iridaceae > Subfamily Crocoideae (Ixioideae) > Tribe Ixieae.
There are 28 species with a few naturalised in Australia.
The Flame freesia is closely related to Crocosmia and Ixia.
With many unnamed hybrids some can be difficult to identify.
Commonly cultivated in the past but now often a weed.

Tritonia are deciduous, perennial plants up to 60 or 80 cm high.
They grow from corms with fibrous coverings.
The erect, flat, sheathing, sword-shaped or linear leaves form small basal fans.
Leaves have 3 to 7 prominent veins or ribs.

Inflorescence spikes, longer than the leaves, are sometimes branched.
Holding up to 15 funnel-shaped flowers they can be erect or arch over.
Each stalkless flower has 2 bracts underneath it.
The bases of the 6 tepals form a tube and the flaring lobes are longer.
The lobes may all be similar or the dorsal one can be larger.
Flowers are mostly in shades of red, yellow and orange as well as white.

The 3 stamens can be spread out or all together on one side.
The anthers are curved.
The ovary is inferior.
The style, longer than the stamens, has 3 branches that may curve backwards.
The fruit are ovoid, 3-angled or ellipsoid capsules with numerous seeds.

Found in Australia are the following.

Tritonia squalida.
Plants to 65 cm high with up to 8 linear to sword-shaped leaves.
Leaves, up to 40 cm long, have 3 to 7 prominent veins.
The inflorescence spikes have up to 10 flowers with bracts.
The tepal bases form a tube about 1 cm long and the lobes flare out.
The flowers are pale pink with darker pink veins or areas.
The stamens, with yellow or purple anthers, can be spread out or on one side.
The branched style is longer than the stamens.

Tritonia lineata.
This is naturalised in areas of S. E. Queensland.
Plants with up to 8 leaves grow to 60 cm high from corms.
Linear to lanceolate leaves up to 30 cm long have 3 to 5 prominent veins.
Each infloresence spike can have up to 15 funnel-shaped flowers with bracts.
The 6 tepal bases form a tube up to 1.5 cm long.
Flowers are cream with dark greenish veins.
The 3 stamens, with yellow anthers, lie on one side of the flower.
The branched style is longer than the stamens.

Tritonia crocata.
Ixia crocata is a synonym for the Orange Tritonia or Blazing star.
It, and its hybrids, were among the most commonly grown here.
It is closely related to T. squalida.

Plants, with sword-like leaves in a basal fan, are up to 45 cm high.
Branched inflorescences have up to 10 cup-shaped flowers with bracts.
The flowers are bright orange to red and shades in between.
There is also a white form.
The style branches into three.

Other species and hybrids come in various colours – white, cream, pale yellow, red and pink.
Some have prominent coloured veins in another colour.