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Tritonia

Phonetic Spelling
try-TOH-nee-uh
Description

is a small bulbous flowering plants in the Iridaceae (iris) family native to South Africa. It is often grown as an annual.  Its native habitat includes dry clay flats and slopes. 

They have strap-like leaves with flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink, or white and give off a pleasant fragrance, especially at night. There are several plants within the genus. Most bloom in spring to summer but others bloom late summer into fall. Flowers are showy and profuse.

General care includes planting in soil enriched with humus in full sun to a depth of 2 inches and 3 inches apart. They prefer moist soil during the growing season and drier when dormant. They can be lifted in the winter to prevent rotting in heavy wet winter soils. 

When growing outdoors from seed in warmer locations, plant your seeds in the fall.  For milder areas, early spring is best.  Germination can take from one to three months, and may require up to three years before flowering.  In locations that experience cold winter temperatures, growing from corms is best.  They can be dug up after the foliage has yellowed, as that is when the bulb has finished storing the next seasons energy.

Use for naturalizing, in the front of a border, mass planting along a walkway or slope, or a cutting garden.  The flowers attract bees, and their fragrance is strongest in the evening making it a good choice for a pollinator or nighttime garden.  The best method of propagation is from the division of the offsets, which are numerous, though it can be grown from seed.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Cannot grow in shade.  Aphids may damage the developing flower buds.  As new growth begins to shoot, snails and slugs may be an issue.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • T. crocata
T. crocata
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#orange flowers#mass planting#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#rock garden#poolside planting#cutting garden#border front#walkway planting#patio planting#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly#herbaceous bulb#pollinator garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • T. crocata
T. crocata
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#orange flowers#mass planting#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#rock garden#poolside planting#cutting garden#border front#walkway planting#patio planting#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly#herbaceous bulb#pollinator garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tritonia
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    It is pollinated by bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Fragrance
    Bulb Storage:
    Store corms in peat at 35-41°F (2-5°C)
    Edibility:
    The flowers are used as a saffron substitute in flavoring food and a yellow coloring.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Trumpet-shaped flowers in various colors occurring in clusters
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Flat, strap-like, grassy green leaves up to 12" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Long, sparsely branched stem with few leaves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil