Plant Description

Freesia hybrid

Freesia hybrid

This South African corm used to be known as Freesia refracta and I have previously called it (incorrectly) Freesia lactea. It may be a hybrid of Freesia alba crossed with Freesia leichtlinii. Whatever its name, it is one of the icons of Sydney gardens in late winter and early spring! It has a fan of narrow, sword-shaped leaves (ht to 30cm), from which arise wiry stems of creamy white, goblet-shaped flowers, which appear around late August to September and have a beautiful scent. Sometimes the petals are flushed with subtle purple tones. They are useful cut flowers.

They prefer to grow in sunny, well-drained spots in the garden, and can be left undisturbed to form large drifts, or else dug up and divided every three years in autumn. They can also be grown in pots.

They are attractive grown around spring-flowering shrubs, such as creamy Loropetalum chinense. There are many other larger hybrid Freesia, which come in a rainbow of colours, but most lack the perfume of the species and seem to need staking - to me they just don't have the same charm as this one. One hint I have read to alleviate the flopping of freesias when in bloom is a light sprinkling of sulphate of potash at planting time and also when the buds start to appear in late winter.

Note that in some areas, Freesia is regarded as having weed potential.


Freesia hybrid
Suitable for Cut Flowers.
Out now in my Sydney garden.
Flowers August and September.
Plant Family: Iridaceae

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