Harlequin Flower
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Harlequin Flower
P Introduced Photo: Subhasis Roy
Common name: Harlequin Flower, Wand flower
Botanical name: Sparaxis tricolor    Family: Iridaceae (Iris family)
Synonyms: Sparaxis blanda, Sparaxis versicolor, Sparaxis griffinii

Harlequin Flower is a bulb forming perennial herb, with a fan-shaped tuft of linear or narrowly lance-shaped leaves at the base, bearing funnel-shaped flowers borne in loose spikes. In winter & spring, it produces stems, up to about 45 cm, bearing small clusters of attractive flowers. Harlequin Flowers are orange scarlet, with a yellow center edged with reddish black. Tepals are nearly equal, 2.5-3.3 cm, lanceshaped. Stamens are symmetrical, filaments touching each other, 6-7 mm, anthers yellow, linear, 8-9 mm; style slender. It grows on damp clay and stony soils in the northwest Cape and flowers. It is one of the species used in hybridizing and is widely cultivated.

Identification credit: Subhasis Roy Photographed in Kishtwar, Kashmir.

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