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.

Dierama pendulum (L.f.) Bak.

Frost-hardy, clump-forming cormous perennial with linear leaves, often dry and fibrous when flowering, and clustered spikes of nodding, wide, open bell-shaped, purple-pink flowers in summer.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1825.  [JD].  ‘A native of the Cape of Good Hope, whence it was introduced a year or two ago by Mr. Tate.  Thunberg found it growing in wet sitations near Kramrivier, with scapes six feet high.  In Mr. Herbert’s Conservatory, where it blossomed in June last, for the first time in England, the flowering stems were four feet high, and the length of the full-grown leaves three feet.  Propagated either by division of the root, or by seed, which it ripens in this country.  A handsome conservatory plant, well worth cultivation.  According to Thunberg the flowers are pink (incarnati); with us they are lilac.’  [BR t.1360/1831].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.449/1845].  Interestingly plants or corms of Sparaxis pendulum were sent to Mrs. Glennie in April 1845, presumably this plant [MP A2948-3].  This is confirmatory that Dierama pendulum was grown in the gardens at this time.  I can find no listing for Watsonia pendula in any reference work consulted.


Published Oct 19, 2009 - 04:15 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:50 AM

Shown are sword-shaped leaf and pendulous stem with pale blue, open-bell-shaped flowers.  Botanical Register f.1360, 1831.

Dierama pendulum (L.f.) Bak. | BR f.1360/1831 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Dierama ensifolium K.Koch & Bouche
  • Sparaxis pendula Ker-Gawl.
  • Ixia pendula Thunb. 
Common Name

Angel?s fishing rod, Wandflower

Name in the Camden Park Record

Watsonia pendula 

Confidence level medium