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.

Watsonia marginata (L.f.) Ker-Gawl.

Cormous perennial with broad, to 50mm wide, sword-shaped leaves and branched stems of few to many tubular, mauve-pink flowers, rarely white or purple, with white and purple markings in spring and early summer.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Introduced into Kew Gardens, by Mr. Masson in 1774.  A sure blower about July or August, requiring a very deep pot.  Propagates rapidly by seeds or offsets, and is now one of the commonest of its tribe, known among nurserymen under the name of Ixia sceptrum.  Owing to the intimate union of the spikelets with the main spike it appears as if it began to flower at the middle; but, on examination, will be found to begin at the base of the primary spike, as is usual with its congeners.’  [BM t.608/1802].  ‘The present variety [Watsonia marginata minor] was introduced last year from the Cape of Good Hope.’  [BM t.1530/1813].

History at Camden Park

Received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831 [MP A2948] and listed in all subsequent catalogues [B.446/1843].


Published Nov 18, 2009 - 05:18 PM | Last updated Jul 25, 2010 - 03:17 PM

Figured is a sword-shaped leaf and spike of crowded tubular pink flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.608, 1802.

Watsonia marginata (L.f.) Ker-Gawl. | BM t.608/1802 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Antholyza marginata Page ex Steud.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Watsonia marginata 

Confidence level high