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.

Sparaxis galeata Ker-Gawl.

Cormous perennial, leaves often prostrate, flowers 4-7 per spike, cream and yellow with mauve markings.  To 35cm.  [CECB, RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Many of our readers will doubtless be surprised to see this plant [Ixia bicolor] ranked under Ixia, where indeed, as the essential character has hitherto stood, it can claim no admission; but, while grandiflora and its relatives are suffered to remain, this cannot be excluded without giving a shock to natural affinity. […] For an opportunity of presenting our readers with a figure of this very rare species, we are indebted to Edward Woodford, Esq. of Vauxhall, from whose rich mine our work is adorned with many a gem.  It is omitted by Gmelin, in Syst. Nat. and by Martyn, in Mill. Dict.  Was introduced to the Kew Garden by Mr. Masson, in 1786.  Flowers in March.  Scentless.  May it be a hybrid plant?’  Gawler then proceeds to review the genus Ixia and what he considers aberrant species.  In a note the Editor adds: ‘Convinced of these imperfections in the present arrangement, Mr. Gawler has been led to propose the forming of a new genus, under the name of Sparaxis.’  [BM t.548/1802]. 

History at Camden Park

Only listed in the Addendum to the 1843 catalogue.  In Macarthur’s possession as Synnotia bicolor by 1843 as specimens were sent to William Macleay in October of that year.  [MP A2948-3].


Gladiolus galeatus Burm.f. = Gladiolus alatus L. which see.

Published Nov 18, 2009 - 10:53 AM | Last updated Jul 24, 2010 - 05:12 PM

Figured are sword-shaped leaves and cream and yellow flowers with mauve markings.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.548, 1802.

Sparaxis galeata Ker-Gawl. | BM t.548/1802 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Gladiolus galeatus Jacq.
  • Gladiolus bicolor Thunb.
  • Synnotia bicolor Sw.
  • Ixia bicolor Ker-Gawl.
  • Synnotia galeata Sweet 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gladiolus galeatus

Synnotia bicolor

Confidence level high