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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Sparaxis

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Iridaceae

The 15 species are endemic to the Western and Northern Cape, found mainly on clay soils in renosterveld and to a lesser extent in coastal sandveld. 

Short-tubed flowers are pollinated by bees and long-tubed species by Prosoeca flies (Nemestrinidae) (Goldblatt & Manning 2000).

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Sparaxis auriculata


Sparaxis bulbifera

Sparaxis caryophyllacea


Sparaxis elegans

Sparaxis fragrans


Sparaxis galeata


Sparaxis grandiflora

Sparaxis maculosa

Sparaxis metelerkampiae

Sparaxis parviflora


Sparaxis pillansii

Sparaxis roxburghii


Sparaxis tricolor

Sparaxis variegata


Sparaxis villosa


  • Goldblatt, P. 1969. The genus Sparaxis. Journal of South African Botany 35: 219-252.

  • Goldblatt, P. 1992. Phylogenetic analysis of the South African genus Sparaxis including Synnotia (Iridaceae: Ixioideae), with two new species and a review of the genus. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 79: 143-159.

  • Goldblatt, P. 1999. Devia, Sparaxis. Flora of southern Africa 7,2, fascicle 1: 148-169.

  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J.C. 2000. Iridaceae. In: In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 623-638. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.