Family: Iridaceae
Named after Homer, the epic Greek poet

Original habitat: Africa

Flower color: Extremely unusual color combinations

Flowering period: Varies according to species and planting period

Plant height: 18 inches

Planting depth: 1 inch

Planting distance: 2 to 3 to 4 inches apart

Type of bulb: corm


In colder regions, it is better to lift the corms and store them in a dry, frost-free (about 39 degrees Fahrenheit) environment. In other regions, they can remain undisturbed in the soil. Although the individual flowers do not last long, the plant produces so many of them that the flowering display can be enjoyed for a long time. These are good plants for the sunny border where their unusual color can be appreciated. The Homeria’s unusual shapes and colors also make it particularly useful as a pot plant.

Planting tips

Since these are very small corms, do not plant them too deeply or too far apart. A good way to plant them is to cluster them in small groups.

Various species

Although there are about 32 known species, many are not commercially cultivated but are still found growing in the wild.

Homeria collina

  • Introduced in 1793. Can grow to a height of 18 inches. The diameter of the flowers is about 2 inches. The color ranges from salmon to a beautiful deep yellow. Flowers profusely for extended enjoyment. Corms planted in the spring will flower later in the summer. Corms planted in the autumn will flower in the spring.

Homeria comptonii

  • Has leaves measuring about 12 inches in length. Colors graduating from lemon yellow in the center to salmon-pink at the tips of the petals. Plant reaches a height of about 8 to 10 inches. Flowers early in the summer.

Homeria elegans

  • Introduced in 1797. Has bright yellow flowers. The petals are tinged with green, or three of the petals can be a different color (usually a pale orange). Flowers early in the spring.

Homeria lilacina

Produces an abundance of lilac-colored flowers in early summer.