Ixia varieties as an ornamental plant.

The Ixia, also called Ixien, Klebschwertel, mistletoe flowers or Miniaturgladiolen, are a genus of the family of Iris Family ( Iridaceae ). The genus consists of about 45 to 50 species. The genus name is derived Ixia from the Greek and means different colors or from the Greek word ixos mistletoe ( Viscum ) and refers to the milky sap.


Ixia species are native only in the Capensis. Its distribution area stretches along the north-western Namaqualand by the Cape Peninsula, inland to the Karoo and eastward to the southern areas of the Eastern Cape. They thrive mainly in areas with winter rains. Most species are available around Caledon, Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Tulbagh, Malmesbury, Piketberg and Clanwilliam.


Ixia species grow as deciduous, perennial, herbaceous plants. They form small, spherical to ovoid tubers, membranous or fibrous casings ( " Tunic ") than outlasting. Leaves are available only in winter. The basal, simple leaves are flat and parallel-veined. The leaf margin is smooth.

The terminal, aged men inflorescences are simple or branched; if they are then branches they may consist of doldigen or racemose partial inflorescences. There are bracts present. There are two different looking bracts per flower available. Two to many flowers are arranged in two rows or spirals in the inflorescences. The sessile flowers are hermaphroditic, ternate, and usually radial symmetry or rarely zygomorphic. There are two circuits, each with three bloom present, which may be the same shape in both circuits or. The bloom are fused. Projecting beyond the supporting leaf flowers cylindrical tube is long and more or less straight. The free area of the bloom is star-shaped spread. The colors of the bracts range from mostly white to cream, yellow to orange, or blue. It's just a circle with three mostly free or fused at their base, fertile stamens present. The stamens are arranged evenly around the pen. Three carpels are a inferior ovary fused with 20 to 50 ovules per ovary chamber. The stylus is longer than the stamens and terminates in three simple scars branches that are 1 cm long. There are Septalnektarien available.

The thin-walled, dreifächerigen fruit capsules contain 20 to 100 seeds. The wrinkled seeds are wingless.


The genus Ixia belongs to the tribe Croceae ( Syn: Ixieae ) in the subfamily Crocoideae within the family of Iris Family ( Iridaceae ). A synonym for Ixia L.: Dichone Salisb ..

There are about 45 to 50 Ixia species:

  • Ixia acaulis Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia amethystina J.C.Manning & Goldblatt
  • Ixia atrandra Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia aurea J.C.Manning & Goldblatt
  • Ixia brevituba G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia brunneobractea G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia campanulata Houtt.
  • Ixia capillaris L. f
  • Ixia cochlear G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia collina Goldblatt & Snijman
  • Ixia contorta Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia curta Andrews
  • Ixia curvata G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia divaricata Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia dubia Vent.
  • Ixia duckittiae L.Bolus
  • Ixia erubescens Goldblatt
  • Ixia esterhuyseniae M.P.de Vos
  • Ixia flaccida ( G.J.Lewis ) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia flexuosa L.
  • Ixia frederickii M.P.de Vos
  • Ixia fucata Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia gloriosa G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia lacera Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia latifolia D.Delaroche
  • Ixia leipoldtii G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia longituba N.E.Br.
  • Ixia lutea ( Ker Gawl. ) Baker
  • Ixia maculata L.
  • Ixia marginifolia ( Salisb. ) G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia metelerkampiae L.Bolus
  • Ixia micrandra Baker
  • Ixia monadelpha D.Delaroche
  • Ixia mostertii M.P.de Vos
  • Ixia namaquana L.Bolus
  • Ixia odorata Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia orientalis L.Bolus
  • Ixia ovata ( Andrews ) Sweet
  • Ixia oxalidiflora Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia paniculata D.Delaroche
  • Ixia patens Aiton
  • Ixia pauciflora G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia polystachya L.
  • Ixia pumilio Goldblatt & Snijman
  • Ixia purpureorosea G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia rapunculoides Delile
  • Ixia rivulicola Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia robusta ( G.J.Lewis ) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia rouxii G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia scariosa Thunb.
  • Ixia scillaris L.
  • Ixia sobolifera Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
  • Ixia splendida G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia stohriae L.Bolus
  • Ixia stolonifera G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia stricta ( Eckl. ex Klatt ) G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia thomasiae Goldblatt
  • Ixia trifolia G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia trinervata ( Baker) G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia vanzijliae L.Bolus
  • Ixia versicolor G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia vinacea G.J.Lewis
  • Ixia viridiflora Lam. This species grows wild only in the vicinity of Tulbagh in the Western Cape.

No longer belong to the genus:

  • Ixia L. africana africana Aristea ⇒ (L.) Hoffmann.
  • Ixia angusta Willd. ⇒ Hesperantha angusta ( Willd.) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia bulbifera L. ⇒ Sparaxis bulbifera (L.) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia bulbocodium (L.) L ⇒ Romulea bulbocodium (L.) Sebast. Mauri &
  • Ixia chinensis L. ⇒ Iris domestica Goldblatt & Mabb.
  • Ixia corymbosa L. ⇒ Lapeirousia corymbosa (L.) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia crocata L. ⇒ Tritonia crocata (L.) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia deusta Aiton ⇒ Tritonia deusta ( Aiton ) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia flabellifolia D.Delaroche ⇒ Tritonia flabellifolia ( D.Delaroche ) GJLewis
  • Ixia fugacissima L. f ⇒ Moraea fugacissima ( L. f ) Goldblatt
  • Ixia gladiolaris Lam. ⇒ Tritonia gladiolaris ( Lam.) Goldblatt & JCManning
  • Ixia grandiflora D.Delaroche ⇒ Sparaxis grandiflora ( D.Delaroche ) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia hirta Thunb. ⇒ Geissorhiza inflexa ( D.Delaroche ) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia hyalina L. f ⇒ Tritonia crocata (L.) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia inflexa D.Delaroche ⇒ Geissorhiza inflexa ( D.Delaroche ) Ker Gawl.
  • Ixia pendula L. f ⇒ Dierama pendulum ( L. f ) Baker
  • Ixia pyramidalis Lam. ⇒ Lapeirousia pyramidalis ( Lam.) Goldblatt
  • Ixia thyrsiflora D.Delaroche ⇒ Aristea thyrsiflora ( D.Delaroche ) NEBr.
  • Ixia tricolor Schneev. ⇒ Sparaxis tricolor ( Schneev. ) Ker Gawl.


Some species are used as ornamental plants.


  • J. Gathe: Ixia in the Western Australian Flora Online: description, 2008.
  • I. Ali & Brian Mathew: Ixia in the Flora of Pakistan: Online.
  • John C. Manning, Peter Goldblatt & D. Snijman. The color encyclopedia of Cape bulbs, Timber Press, USA, 2002.
  • Peter Goldblatt, P. Bernhardt & John C. Manning: Pollination of petaloid geophytes by monkey beetles (Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Hopliini ) in southern Africa. in Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 85, 1998, pp. 215-230.
  • Peter Goldblatt & John C. Manning: The Iris Family: . Natural History and Classification, Timber Press, Portland, 2008.