Scientific: Sparaxis tricolor
Common: harlequin flower, wand flower
Origin: South Africa
Pronounciation: Spa-RAX-is TRI-co-lor
Sunset 9, 12-24 as in the ground perennial; otherwise in colder zones dig and store during the winter
USDA 8-11 as perennial, otherwise dig and store
Landscape Use: Diminutive flower accent, container plant, gift pot plant
Form & Character: Upright, slender, and cheerful.
Growth Habit: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial producing tunicate corms, upright and without branches to 1.5 feet in height.
Foliage/Texture: Greenish, linear to lanceolate leaves, basally produced leaves to 1 foot long; medium texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Funnel form flowers with 3 stamens to 2 inches in diameter, filaments not united. Flower borne on spikes in loose clusters, having a yellow center around which is ringed a darker color (brown) around which is usually ringed with red, pink, orange or purple; fruits are a 3-valved capsule and are not ornamental.
Seasonal Color: Flowers bloom over a long period during the spring.
Temperature: Avoid high heat of western exposures.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Soil: Tolerant of slight alkainity.
Watering: Regular supplemental water IS a necessity in Phoenix.
Pruning: None really. But if one feels inclined to "garden", then remove the spent flowers.
Propagation: Division of corms
Disease and Pests: None
Additional comments: Wand flower is a nice border plant for old-fashioned gardens themes and mesic garden areas, particularly when used in mass to create a wild splash of color. However, it's not a good choice for desert or dry garden sites, thus it's not a plant that is trending to popular in Phoenix in this present day of 'landscape sustainability' derived mainly through a hyperfocus on spartan resource conservation. In the 'old days', when flood irrigated, wet garden sites in Phoenix were common, harlequin flower would naturalize in landscape gardens if plants were allowed to "go to seed".