Family Iridaceae > Subfamily Crocoideae > Tribe Watsonieae.
There are about 51 species (45 – 70) plus many hybrids and cultivars.
Some of those naturalised in Australia are invasive weeds.
Once common in gardens they are now infrequently seen and usually in old gardens.
Watsonieae are characterised by having flowers in spikes and deeply divided style-branches.
Perennial, deciduous, clumping plants growing from corms up to 8 cm across.
The sword-shaped leaves, up to 5 cm wide have thickened, yellowish or colourless edges.
Branched or unbranched inflorescence stems can be up to 2 m high.
The green or reddish stems hold the flowers above the leaves.
The main stem can have around 15 to 20 flowers with less on the branches.
The flowers, up to 8 cm long, can be close or up to 4 cm apart.
There are 2 green or reddish bracts under each stalkless flower.
Ccommonly shades of pink to red they can be white, shades of purple, orange or peach.
The 6 tepal bases form a curved perianth tube around 3 – 4 cm long.
Above the narrow base is a funnel-shaped section that can be narrow or widely flaring.
The ovate to oblong lobes are around 2 to 3.5 cm long.
The tepal lobes may have a darker midline or a white streak or area at the base.
The 3 stamens are mostly unilateral and either central or towards the upper part of the flower.
The 6 to 12 mm long, sub-basifixed anthers can be cream, yellow or purplish.
The ovary is inferior and the style is usually shorter than the perianth.
Each of the 3 style branches usually divides again.
The fruit is a hard, oblong capsule up to 3 cm long with winged seeds.
Some species have clusters of bulbils replacing the lower flowers.