Dilatris

Dilatris is an evergreen genus in the Haemodoraceae family growing from a short red rhizome. The four species are endemic to the Cape Floral region of South Africa with most species found in the south western portion on rocky sandstone slopes. It flowers best after a fire. The majority of the species have mauve flowers that are distinguished by details of the stamens. The three stamens are inserted at the base of the tepals; one stamen is shorter and erect with a larger yellow anther and the other two are more or less spreading, with smaller, reddish anthers. They grow best with year round water and acidic sandy soil.


Dilatris ixioides Lamarck is a widespread species that occurs from the Bokkeveld Mountains to George where it grows on rocky sandstone slopes and flowers September to February. Growing from 20 to 50 cm, plants have a soft hairy whitish flowering stem and mauve flowers in a flat topped cluster. Stamens are well exserted, much longer than the tepals. The fruiting capsule is topped with a conspicuous papery perianth that fragments to release the single seed. Photos from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Dilatris ixioides, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-VlokDilatris ixioides, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Dilatris pillansii W. F. Barker is found on rocky sandstone slopes from the Cedarberg Mountains to Agulhas. Growing from 20 to 45 cm high, plants have a whitish hairy stem, linear oblong leaves and mauve flowers in a rounded cluster. Stamens are included or scarcely exserted; longer stamens are much shorter than the tepals. Plants flower August to January. The fruiting capsule is topped with a conspicuous papery perianth that fragments to release the single seed. Photos by Cameron McMaster taken in the Overberg.

Dilatris pillansii Napier, Cameron McMasterDilatris pillansii Elim, Cameron McMaster

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Page last modified on February 22, 2018, at 07:09 AM