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.

Ixia capillaris Thunb. var. aulica

Cormous perennial with up to 4 lance-shaped leaves, to 30cm, a slender flower stem, to 60cm, usually branched and bearing up to 7, lilac, pink, mauve, violet or red-purple flowers in spring or summer.  A variable species and descriptions in the literature are correspondingly variable.  [RHSD, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Ixia capillaris var. aulica] is a mere variety of [Ixia capillaris], though made a distinct one in the Hortus Kewensis, under the name of aulica.’  [BM t.1013/1807]. 

Ixia capillaris var. gracillima, synonym I. aulica, is also figured.  Pale blue-lilac and pink forms are illustrated.  The paler forms shown here bear a greater resemblance to the Blarney plants (see notes), which are very pale mauve or lilac, or white.  [BM t.617/1803]. 

Introduced to Britain in 1774.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.268/1843]. A form of Ixia capillaris is naturalised in the area of the Camden Park garden called ‘Blarney’, a grassed slope left unmown for all but the summer months.  This is probably the variety aulica.  Ixia flexuosa grows alongside Ixia capillaris but in much smaller numbers and more localised.  Sparaxis bulbifera, Sparaxis tricolor, Romulea rosea and Oxalis bowiei are also naturalised here together with a smaller number of Gladiolus carneus, many narcissi, mostly tazettiforms, and two mature bulbs of Brunsvigia josephinae.  In a good season the spring bulbs are an impressive sight.


For further discussion of Ixias see Ixia hybrid ‘Calypso’.

Published Nov 10, 2009 - 04:35 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2010 - 04:44 PM

Figured are leaves and panicle of pale pink flowers plus a darker pink flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.617, 1803.

Ixia capillaris Thunb. var. aulica | BM t.617/1803 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Ixia aulica Ait.
  • Ixia capillaris Thunb. var. gracillima
  • Ixia scariosa Thunb. 
Common Name

Slender ixia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ixia aulica 

Confidence level high