Aristea capitata (L.) Ker-Gawl.

A half-hardy, clump-forming, evergreen perennial with lance-shaped leaves and dense spikes of saucer-shaped blue or purple flowers in summer.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, CECB, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Large and ornamental, with a stem from two to four feet high, nearly twice the length of the leaves. […] Is now pretty common in our gardens.’  [BM t.605/1802].  ‘With us its beautiful flowers are produced in July and August: the stem is from two to three feet in height. […] If the pot is placed in a pan of water during the flowering season, it improves the blossoms very much.’  [LBC no.1174/1827].  Aristea capitata was introduced to Britain in 1790.  [JD].  ABR pl.160/1801.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.44/1843].


Aristea capitata Bak. (1892) = Aristea macrocarpa G.Lewis.  It has a fan of lance-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers in summer.  To 1.5m.  [Rice].  This is not Macarthur’s plant.

Published Feb 15, 2009 - 04:13 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:42 AM

The image shows sword-shaped leaves and a spike of bright blue flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.605, 1802.

Aristea capitata (L.) Ker-Gawl. | BM t.605/1802 | BHL

More details about Aristea capitata (L.) Ker-Gawl.
Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Aristea major Andr.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Aristea capitata 

Confidence level high