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 refracta (Jacq.) Klatt

Cormous perennial with a basal fan of leaves and racemes of scented greenish to dull purple flowers with yellow to orange markings on long, branched, arching stems in winter and spring.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This present [Tritonia refracta] is one of the rarest species of the tribe; and, as far as we can trace, has been now first introduced from the Cape of Good Hope by Messrs. Lee and Kennedy of the Hammersmith Nursery. […] A hardy greenhouse plant; requiring to be kept in peat-earth, and to have the bulbs taken up, and the offsets removed at least every second year.’  [BR f.135/1816].  Tritonia refracta was introduced to Britain in 1815.  [JD].  Jacq. IPR pl.241/1781-93.

History at Camden Park

First recorded in an Addendum to the 1843 catalogue and listed in every subsequent catalogue [B.432/1843].  Bulbs were sent to William Macleay in October of 1843.  [MP A2948-3].  


Published Oct 20, 2009 - 03:14 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:53 AM

Figured are bulb, basal fan of leaves and racemes of greenish-purple flowers with yellow markings.  Jacqin IPR pl.241, 1781-93.

Freesia refracta (Jacq.) Klatt | Jacq. IPR pl.241/1781-93 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Tritonia refracta Ker Gawl.
  • Gladiolus refractus Jacq.
  • Gladiolus resupinatus Pers. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Tritonia refracta 

Confidence level high