UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Sparaxis tricolor

Common Name
Harlequin Flower
Plant Type
Mature Size
8-12 in. wide and 12 in. tall
Water Requirements
None: avoid summer water
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full sun
Flower Color
Red, pink, purple, while and yellow
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Sparaxis is a South African bulb with cheerful flowers and sword-shaped leaves. They come in an assortment of colors and look spectacular in a mixed planting. Best of all, they don't need summer water, but will tolerate water if irrigated.

Sparaxis is truly an easy plant that has few insect or disease problems and will naturalize without effort. The plants readily self sow. If leaves are left on until the seed pods open, more plants will grow the next year. These plants go dormant after blooming.

PADG notes: After the leaves have lost most of their green color, they are snipped off a couple inches of above ground. Other master gardeners wait for the leaves to go completely brown and then they simply pull off the dead leaves. It isn't necessary to do this, but getting rid of brown dormant leaves gives the summer garden a more lush look.

Unfortunately, snails and slugs love these plants. The leaves will generally show it unless snails are kept under control.

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