Watsonia meriana

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Watsonia meriana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Ixioideae
Tribe: Watsonieae
Genus: Watsonia
Species:W. meriana
Binomial name
Watsonia meriana
(L.) Mill.

Watsonia bulbillifera

Watsonia meriana near end of flowering showing cormlets on inflorescence Watsonia meriana near end of flowering showing cormlets on IMG 6913.JPG
Watsonia meriana near end of flowering showing cormlets on inflorescence
Detail of cormlets on inflorescence Watsonia meriana detail of cormlets on inflorescence IMG 6909.JPG
Detail of cormlets on inflorescence

Watsonia meriana is a species of flowering plant in the iris family (Iridaceae) known by the common name bulbil bugle-lily. It is one of several Watsonia species known as wild watsonia. It is native to the Cape Provinces of South Africa, [1] but it is well known as an ornamental plant grown in gardens for its showy spikes of flowers and an invasive species in areas where it has escaped cultivation. It is a perennial herb growing from a fibrous-coated corm and growing to a maximum height well over one meter when in flower, sometimes reaching two meters. Each corm produces three or four erect, lance-shaped leaves that measure up to 60 centimeters long by 6 wide. They have thickened midribs and margins. The inflorescence is an open spike of 8 to 25 flowers which may be any most any shade of orange to reddish or purplish. The flower is up to 8 centimeters long with a long, tubular throat and spreading tepals. The flowers sometimes yield capsule fruits which contain seed, but the plant often reproduces via bulbils (strictly speaking, cormlets) that form in clusters in the axils of bracts at nodes along the peduncle. The bulbils can sprout if dropped into the soil, sometimes forming dense colonies, [2] as can sections of corm that are chopped and dispersed by plowing or by non-intensive feeding by root-eating animals. The plant is accordingly ecologically valuable as feed to local mole-rats (Cryptomys and Georychus species) and to Cape porcupines (Hystrix africaeaustralis)

Iridaceae family of plants

Iridaceae is a family of plants in order Asparagales, taking its name from the irises, meaning rainbow, referring to its many colours. There are 66 accepted genera with a total of c. 2244 species worldwide. It includes a number of other well known cultivated plants, such as freesias, gladioli and crocuses.

Cape Provinces

The Cape Provinces of South Africa is a biogeographical area used in the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD). It is part of the WGSRPD region 37 Southern Africa. The area has the code "CPP". It includes the South African provinces of the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape, together making up most of the former Cape Province.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.


Like some other Watsonia, this species can take hold in the wild as a weedy introduced species in appropriate climates. It can be found along the southern coast of Australia, in New Zealand, and on the North Coast of California. [3] [4] [5] The plant forms dense colonies that crowd other plant species from the land where mole-rats, porcupines and similar herbivores do not occur. [6]

Introduced species species introduced either deliberately or accidentally through human activity

An introduced species is a species living outside its native distributional range, but which has arrived there by human activity, either deliberate or accidental. Non-native species can have various effects on the local ecosystem. Introduced species that become established and spread beyond the place of introduction are called invasive species. The impact of introduced species is highly variable. Some have a negative effect on a local ecosystem, while other introduced species may have no negative effect or only minor impact. Some species have been introduced intentionally to combat pests. They are called biocontrols and may be regarded as beneficial as an alternative to pesticides in agriculture for example. In some instances the potential for being beneficial or detrimental in the long run remains unknown.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.


Hardiness: Zones 9-11 [7]

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