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.

Freesia laxa (Thunb.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning

Cormous perennial with two-ranked leaves and branched stems bearing small carmine-crimson flowers.  Introduced in 1830.  [RHSD, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A native of the Cape of Good Hope, lately introduced: it flowers in June, and is very rich in colour and of great beauty.’  [LBC no.1857/1832]. 

‘For this we are obliged to Mr. Tate, of Sloan Street, who communicated it in May last, with the information, that he had received it several years ago from the Cape, and finds it a very desirable plant, conrinuing to throw out flowering shoots late in the autumn.  The bulbs should be planted in April, when intended as a border flower, and taken up in November.’  [BR f.1369/1830]. 

Introduced to Britain in 1830.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

A seed order to Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.132] is the only reference to this plant.  However, it was probably received.  It is naturalised in the gardens, although only growing in small numbers.


Published Nov 19, 2009 - 02:20 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:53 AM

Figured is a fan of leaves and rose pink flowers with deeper red centre.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.1857, 1832.

Freesia laxa (Thunb.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning | LBC no.1857/1832 as Anomatheca cruenta | RBGS

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Eastern Africa

  • Anomatheca cruenta Lindl.
  • Anomatheca laxa (Thunb.) Goldblatt
  • Lapeirousia laxa (Thunb.) N.E.Br.
  • Lapeirousia cruenta Bak.
  • Gladiolus laxa Thunb. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Anomatheca cruenta 

Confidence level high