watsonia, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Plurals:
watsonias, or unchanged.
Origin:
Modern LatinShow more Modern Latin, from the name of William Watson (1715–87), Scottish naturalist, + noun-forming suffix -ia.
Any of several species of indigenous bulbous plants of the genus Watsonia (family Iridaceae), having sword-shaped leaves and tall spikes of tubular flowers in shades of red, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, and white; also called pypie. Also attributive.
1801 Curtis’s Bot. Mag. 1787–1844 XV. 533 (heading)Aletris-like Watsonia.
1843 M. Edgeworth Lett. from Eng. (1971) 595The most beautiful flowers..Gladiolis and red and white Watsonia.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 14The watsonias which have been the common flower for the last 3 months in George invariably catch my eye as I pass.
1906 B. Stoneman Plants & their Ways 197Watsonia, The flowers often live in moist places.
1916 Farmer’s Weekly 20 Dec. 1454For Sale — White Watsonia Bulbs (Watsonia Ardernie), price 2/- per dozen.
c1933 J. Juta in A.C. Partridge Lives, Lett. & Diaries (1971) 162Watsonias...The plant grows from corms and has sword-like leaves and masses of pink, magenta, white or orange flowers, resembling gladioli.
1948 A. Paton Cry, Beloved Country 19Here in their season grow the blue agapanthus, the wild watsonia, and the red-hot poker.
1960 G. Lister Reminisc. 58I could gather..pale pink Watsonias and white bearded orchids.
1982 Flying Springbok Sept. 22A breathtaking show of mountain wild-flowers such as proteas, watsonias and ericas, filled the hall adjoining the church with the fragrance of the mountains.
1992 G. Templeton in Weekend Post 8 Feb. (Leisure) 4Watsonias, gladioli, [etc.] provide a touch of summer colour.
Any of several species of indigenous bulbous plants of the genus Watsonia (family Iridaceae), having sword-shaped leaves and tall spikes of tubular flowers in shades of red, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, and white; also called pypie. Also attributive.

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18011992