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Freesia laxa

12th June 2006

A staggeringly bright little Iris relative from South Africa. There are a multitude of colour variations in cultivation, but the common blood red one is as good as anything you will find. Very small growing and tantalisingly close to being hardy. It seeds itself freely - years ago I remember vast areas of the Temperate House at Kew being swallowed up by it. Unfortunately, it flowers in spits and spurts, or it would knock you dead!

6th June 2008

It is a great little plant, like a little piece of vegetable bunting that decorates the summer. I should take more care over it really, I would hate to be without it. Seed is easily produced, and I should grow some on to try outside.

14th June 2009

The slow invasion other pots has started. I have delightful scarlet splashes of colour turning up in places they were never intended to be. If it wasn't so beautiful I would be a lot harder on it.

11th June 2011

6th July 2013

9th May 2015

The species has been far too vigorous for me, and I have distant memories of the way it swamped the Temperate House at Kew (a few renovations ago), so it has been thrown out. I don't think it will be a problem outside but time will tell. I still get occasional seedlings in the greenhouse but I pull them out as soon as I see them.

17th August 2021

It's a strange accident, but I think this is the real thing, many of those pictured above seem to be hybrids with F. grandiflora (which grows in the same greenhouse).