Spider lily: Ferraria crispa

It was a stroke of luck to discover this plant in flower when by chance I’d wandered off a coastal hiking track (Hoek van Bobbejaan at the Cape of Good Hope Reserve), to shelter from the wind. The tough spider lily (Ferraria crispa), a cormous perennial belongs to that fabulous plant family, the iridaceae.     The  flowers only last for one day and there it was, a single bloom growing discreetly under a granite outcrop.  One of it’s common names – “Inkpotjie” or Little inkpot fits it’s speckled description rather aptly.

The striking flowers of the spider lily plant have an unusual carrion scent.  They grow mostly in deep sands of granite outcrops in the southwestern Cape.

WPC:  Against the odds.

25 thoughts on “Spider lily: Ferraria crispa

    1. Yes, it’s freckled complexion has it in a different category 🙂 I googled the ‘walking iris’ intrigued by it’s name. Neat that it can form plantlets off the bloom, and ‘walk’ it’s ongoing species. Nature really does inspire 🙂

    1. Yes, true it has a similarity of form to the passionflower though the passionflowers have a complexity of stigma and stamens – such showpiece of design😊 I love the ‘crinkliness’ of the spider lilies petals.

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