modern Latin, GreekShow more modern Latin (1805), from Greek sparassein to tear, lacerate.
A genus of iridaceous plant, species of which are grown for their flowers, which are multi-hued, often with black or yellow centres; a plant or bulb of this genus; also called botterblom.See also ixia.
1928Jrnl of Botanical Soc. of S. Afr.XIV. 7Many of our ‘bulbous’ plants may be considered safely established in cultivation. The number is steadily increasing — more especially in the case of the family, Iridaceae, whose Sparaxis, Tritonia, Ixia, are acknowledged favourites.
1963M.G. McCoyInformant, Port ElizabethWe had a long walk in Settlers’ Park, all the Namaqualands are out, & the sparaxis & bobbejantjies.
1989Reader’s Digest Gardening Questions Answered 353Sparaxis. Brightly coloured, indigenous, spring flowering bulbs with narrow, stiff, sword-shaped leaves and stems of multicoloured, six-petalled flowers, often with black or yellow centres, in a wide range of colours. There are many hybrids.
1994E. Prov. Herald 26 Mar. 9Sparaxis: Small, on thin stems, the bulbs produce multicoloured blooms.
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