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Homeria

Family: Iridaceae
Named after Homer, the epic Greek poet

Original habitat: Africa

Flower colour: Extremely unusual colour combinations

Flowering period: Varies according to species and planting period

Plant height: 45 centimetres

Planting depth: 3 centimetres

Planting distance: 5 to 8 or 10 centimetres apart

Type of bulb: bulb

Applications

In colder regions, it is better to lift the corms and store them in a dry, frost-free (about 4 degrees Celsius) environment. In other regions, they can remain undisturbed in the soil. Although the individual flowers do not last long, the plant produces so many of them that the flowering display can be enjoyed for a long time. These are good plants for the sunny border where their unusual colour can be appreciated. The Homeria’s unusual shapes and colours also make it particularly useful as a pot plant.

Planting tips

Since these are very small corms, do not plant the corms too deeply or too far apart. A good way to plant them is to cluster them in small groups.

Various species

Although there are about 32 known species, many are not commercially cultivated but are still found growing in the wild.

Homeria collina

  • Introduced in 1793. Can grow to a height of 45 centimetres. The diameter of the flowers is about 5 centimetres. The colour ranges from salmon to a beautiful deep yellow. Flowers profusely for extended enjoyment. Corms planted in the spring will flower later in the summer. Corms planted in the autumn will flower in the spring.

Homeria comptonii

  • Has leaves measuring about 30 centimetres in length. Colours changing from lemon yellow in the centre to salmon-pink at the tips of the petals. Plant reaches a height of about 20 to 25 centimetres. Flowers early in the summer.

Homeria elegans

  • Introduced in 1797. Has bright yellow flowers, the petals being tinged with green, or three of the petals can be a different colour (usually a pale orange). Flowers early in the spring.

Homeria lilacina

  • Produces an abundance of lilac-coloured flowers in early summer.
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