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Friday, June 27, 2014

Tigridia Flowers

Type of Flower 
Tigridia Common names include tiger-flowers or shell flowers, is a genus of bulbous or cormous plants, belonging to the family Iridaceae. They have large showy flowers and one species, Tigridia pavonia, is often cultivated for this. The approximately thirty five species in this family grow in the Western Hemisphere, from Mexico to Chile. The tigridia flower is short lived, each often blooming for only one day, but often several flowers will bloom from the same stalk. Usually they are dormant during the winter dry-season. Its roots are edible and were eaten by the Aztecs of Mexico who called it cacomitl and its flower  "Jaguar flower". The genus name means "tiger-like" and alludes to the coloration and spotting of the flowers of the type species Tigridia pavonia.
Species of Tigridia include:
  • Tigridia alpestris 
  • Tigridia bicolor 
  • Tigridia chiapensis 
  • Tigridia dugesii 
  • Tigridia durangense 
  • Tigridia ehrenbergii 
  • Tigridia flammea 
  • Tigridia hallbergii 
  • Tigridia huajuapanensis 
  • Tigridia immaculata 
  • Tigridia inusitata 
  • Tigridia matudae 
  • Tigridia meleagris 
  • Tigridia mexicana 
  • Tigridia molseediana 
  • Tigridia multiflora 
  • Tigridia orthantha 
  • Tigridia pavonia 
  • Tigridia philippiana 
  • Tigridia seleriana 
  • Tigridia vanhouttei 
  • Tigridia violacea

Thirty species of Tigridia shell flowers are found, mainly from Mexico and Guatemala, and are members of the Iridaceae family. Tiger flowers resemble the gladiola, with 3 to 6 inch flowers in colors of pink, red, white, yellow, cream, orange or scarlet. Triangular shaped petals of solid colors adorn the outer edges of the flower with a center that has a tiger skin or seashell-like appearance. 
The pleated foliage has the appearance of a fan, adding to the beauty of the growing tiger flower. This foliage dies back in fall.
Growing tiger flower provides brightly colored, though short-lived, blooms in the summer garden. Also known as Mexican shell flowers, the species is botanically named Tigridia pavonia, as the center of the flower center resembles a tiger’s coat. Tigridia shell flowers in the garden appear in succession, for 2 to 3 weeks, offering a spectacular showing of the beautiful blooms.
Plant Tigridia shell flowers in the garden in spring. Tiger flowers are semi-hardy and can be damaged at temperatures of 28 degrees F. and below. Those in zones with cold winters should lift the bulbs and store them during winter. In warmer areas where bulbs are not lifted, tiger flower care includes division every few years. 
When planting Tigridia shell flowers in the garden, plant them 4 inches deep and 4 to 5 inches apart. You may also want to plant them in masses throughout the garden for a colorful summer show when they bloom. 
Plant tiger flowers where they’ll get hot afternoon sun. You can also grow tiger flower in containers, but they should be protected from winter rains. 
Tiger flower care is simple if you plant them in rich and well-draining soil and provide moisture regularly. 
Fertilize with a weak mixture of liquid fertilizer a few times prior to bloom.


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