Freesia



Freesia is a genus of flowering plants in family Iridaceae, comprising 14-16 species. It is native to Africa, with 12 species native to Cape Province, South Africa, two species in tropical Africa and one from Sudan. The genus name Freesia is named to honor a German physician, Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese (1795-1876).

Freesia species are herbaceous annual flowering plants which grow from a corm of 1-2.5 cm diameter, sending a tuft of narrow leaves of 10-30cm long, and an arching stem of 10-40cm which produces beautiful funnel-shaped, fragrant flowers. Freesia corms are available in mixed colors of white, mauve, pink, red, yellow, orange, and pink-blue. Most cultivars can reach a height of about 30cm and a spread of 20cm. They are popular garden plants, often grown for their beautiful and fragrant flowers. Freesia are good cut flowers and for containers. The pleasant fragrants are often used in hand creams, shampoos, etc. Freesia refracta is the most commonly grown species.

Freesia species are food plants for larvae of some Lepidoptera(butterflies and moths) species such as Large Yellow Underwing.

Plant Freesia in sun and in well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in winter or by removing offsets in autumn. Pests and diseases are aphids, red spider mites, dry rot and wilt.

Freesia laxaFreesia laxa
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anomatheca_laxa01.JPG
authorshipPethan
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Freesia refractaFreesia refracta
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FreesiaRefracta2.jpg
authorshipFanghong
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Freesia albaFreesia alba
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flower_March_2010-2.jpg
authorshipAlvesgaspar
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