Bugle Lily

The Bugle Lily or Watsonia is a genus of plants in the iris family, subfamily Crocoideae, native to South Africa. The genus is named after Sir William Watson, an 18th century British botanist. There are 52 species in southern Africa; all are perennial herbs growing from corms and producing erect spikes of showy flowers, and are adapted to a Mediterranean-type climate. The most common species in cultivation is the pink-flowered Watsonia borbonica and its white mutant Arderne’s White. These were crossed with Watsonia meriana and other species in the early 20th century by breeders including John Cronin in Australia and Luther Burbank in California to produce a wide range of cultivars. Watsonia has been eclipsed in popularity by Gladiolus and other bulbs, and is now neglected by the nursery industry. Native to South Africa, wild Watsonia was introduced as a garden ornamental to Australia in 1907 and was widespread by the 1940s. In the South-West of Western Australia, six species have become naturalised from garden escapes along rivers, wetlands and seasonally wet ground. Watsonia meriana is also a weed in New Zealand, Reunion and Mauritius. These pictures were taken at van Stadens Nature Reserve outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

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