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 odorata Ker-Gawl.

Cormous perennial with from 5-12 crowded, small, pale yellow or cream, sweetly fragrant flowers per stem.  [CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Ixia erecta var. lutea odorata, synonym I. odorata, with deep yellow flowers.  ‘This variety of erecta is the most fragrant of the genus.  Probably a distinct species; but as we are unable to define the difference to our satisfaction, we have thought fit to leave it as a variety of the species, to which at all events it is the closest allied.  We have never known of the arrival of any considerable parcel of bulbs, from the Cape of Good Hope, which this did not accompany; so that it is probably a very common plant there.  Blooms very freely in May and June; is very ornamental, and of easy culture.’.  [BM t.1173/1809]. 

Paxton’s Dictionary and Johnson’s Dictionary describe Ixia erecta as having white flowers although pink and yellow forms are also listed.  They are possibly including Ixia polystachya and Ixia odorata in these descriptions.  They give the date of introduction to Britain of Ixia erecta as 1757.  BM t.846/1805.

History at Camden Park

Ixia erecta is first recorded in an Addendum to the 1843 catalogue and in all subsequent editions [B.275/1843].


See also Ixia polystachya L., another possible identification for Macarthur’s Ixia erecta.

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

Published Nov 10, 2009 - 05:28 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2010 - 04:36 PM

Figured are sword-shaped leaves and yellow salverform flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1173, 1809.

Ixia odorata Ker-Gawl. | BM t.1173/1809 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district


Ixia erecta Thunb. 

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Ixia erecta 

Confidence level low