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 viridis (Ait.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning

A cormous perennial with many, narrowly sword-shaped leaves to 15cm and a zigzag stem, to 45cm, bearing many green flowers in summer.  [RHSE, Grey].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘We are indebted to Messrs. Lee and Kennedy for the opportunity of giving this rare and curious vegetable [Tritonia viridis].  Introduced into Kew Gardens from the Cape of Good Hope by Mr. Masson.  Flowered there in 1788.’  [BM t.1275/1810].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.169/1843].  Possibly the plant received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831 as Ixia viridis [MP A2948-2], although this name is usually applied to Ixia viridis Thunb., a synonym of Ixia viridiflora Lam. which see.


A possible but less likely identification is the plant described in The Gardeners Chronicle as Gladiolus viridis, a ‘member of the Gandavensis or Floribunda tribe’ [Gard. Chron. 1851].  Its relationship to Anometheca viridis is uncertain.  Macarthur’s viridis was probably introduced too early to be this hybrid, particularly if it is the plant received per ‘Sovereign’.  For a description of these hybrids see Gladiolus x gandavensis Van Houtte. 

Published Oct 28, 2009 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:53 AM

Figured are sword-shaped leaves and a zigzag stem,bearing many green flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1275, 1810.

Freesia viridis (Ait.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning | BM t.1275/1810 | RBGS

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Gladiolus viridis Ait.
  • Anometheca viridis (Ait.) Goldbl.
  • Tritonia viridis Ker-Gawl. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gladiolus viridis 

Confidence level medium