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Plantidote of the Day 2012-06-27

twig's picture

false freesia

Anomatheca laxa or Lapeirousia laxa

False freesia

A South African native, false freesia is a relative of the iris with what sounds like an amazing ability to survive dry spells. From Plant Delights Nursery:

In its native habitat, anomatheca lives through hot, dry summers and often goes dormant in order to avoid the worst of the summer drought. It stays dormant until the following spring when it bursts forth with narrow 8" tall grass-like foliage. Anomatheca will bloom in late spring, just prior to going dormant. During its long dormant period, Anomatheca should stay dry, so plant it in well-draining soil to prevent the corms from rotting.

False freesias do best in Zones 8 through 10. For more details and information on growing them, check out these comments.


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editor_u's picture
Submitted by editor_u on

I seem to have a thing for South African flowers. All the Crocosmia species, Freesia, Nerines (especially crispa, AKA undulata). Except for Crocosmia, can't easily grow any of them out of doors here (New York City) or in Ohio, where I spent most of each year for the previous 15 years and grew four species or varieties of that flower (and failed miserably with Nerines, a real heartbreak).

I'll see whether I have any (decent) pictures, and will send them to you, if so.

You and Jerztomato and Kathryn are gems for cheering us up with these beauties.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

a website devoted to South African flowers!

The images I've seen of South African plants make me want to go there -- but since that's not going to happen, it's nice that most of those plants seem to grow well here in Zone 10. The false freesia are from a local botanical garden that has lots of S. African natives -- pretty awesome plants!