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TIGRIDIA pavonia

Image of Tigridia pavonia

Jesse Saylor

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

TIGRIDIA pavonia

Plant Common Name

Mexican Shell Flower, Mexican Tiger Flower, Peacock Flower, Peacock Tiger Iris

General Description

Known by many common names, this tender bulbous perennial with stunning blooms is a star of the summer garden. A Mexican native found mostly at high altitudes, it is typically grown as an annual.

The spreading clumps of narrow pleated sword-shaped leaves form fans. Tall stems bear clusters of short lived flowers that open successively over several weeks in summer. The spectacular orange, pink, yellow or white blooms are triangular with three large spreading outer petals and three stubby, cupped, boldly blotched inner petals. Each bloom usually lasts one day.

These cold-tender, sun-loving plants are striking when grown in fertile, well-drained soil. They do best with relatively moist summers and dry winters. In hot climates such as the Southeast United States they may benefit from midday shade. Plants grow from bulbs that produce offsets, eventually forming large clumps. They should be divided every few years to maintain a relatively compact clump. Plants may self-sow in favorable sites. Use Mexican shell flowers as eye-catching accents in borders, cottage gardens, and containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Orange Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes