Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cypella plumbea Lindl.

Bulbous perennial with sword-shaped leaves and 3–4 lead-coloured, iris-like flowers per stem, tinged yellow in the centre.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1838.  [BR misc.71/1838].  ‘This very remarkable plant, though its flower is delicate and beautiful, disappoints the expectation by producing, as far as I have seen, on its strong and tall stem only one blossom, which expands before sunrise, even in a dark room, and passes away ere noon.  Some bulbs of this plant have been raised in England from Mexican seeds, and others have been received by Mr. Anderson of the Chelsea Garden, from Mr. Otto at Berlin.  The specimen here represented flowered in the autumn at Spofforth, being of the latter importation.  The pot had stood out of doors all the summer, but the flower-buds appeared so late, owing to the unusual coldness of the season, that it was removed into the stove to promote the blossom.  There was a considerable interval between the flowering of the bulbs.  It will probably be found to succeed well under a South wall in the open ground.’  [BM t.3710/1839].  FS vol.ix/1854.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.424/1845].


Published Oct 19, 2009 - 02:22 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:49 AM

Figured are sword-shaped leaves and lead-coloured, yellow-tinged iris-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3710, 1839.

Cypella plumbea Lindl. | BM t.3710/1839 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Tigridia azurea Hort.
  • Phalocallis plumbea Herb. 
Common Name

Blue Tigridia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Tigridia azurea 

Confidence level