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FREESIA

Image of Freesia

International Flower Bulb Centre

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

FREESIA

Plant Common Name

Freesia

General Description

Freesia is a genus of about 15 species of perennial, bulbous plants grown for their showy, fragrant flowers. All are endemic to southern Africa. Freesias are popular commercial cutflowes, garden and houseplant favorites and many are grown for their fragrant oils that are extracted from the flowers and used for scenting perfumes, lotions and candles.

The plants have green, narrow leaves that are linear or sword-shaped and clustered. Only a few leaves arise from the bulbous corms (bulbous, compressed, solid, underground stems covered with a fibrous skin). The flowers appear among the foliage on long spikes. Each spike may be branched or unbranched and bears flowers on one side. The flowers have petals/tepals that form tubular or funnel-shaped blooms that begin to open from the base of the spike up. Flowers are usually white or yellow and sometimes pink or red. The fruit is a round, warty capsule. There are many cultivars and varieties with a wide range of flowers colors.

Culture and hardiness is species dependent, however, most Freesia prefer slightly acid, organic-rich soil with ample drainage. They prefer sunny to partly sunny locations and look best when grown in masses. These plants do not tolerate very cold or hot conditions. Plant them in the spring in temperate zones and the fall in sub-tropical and tropical areas. Cut or remove the flower stalk and leave the remaining foliage to replenish the corm for next season’s blooms. The corms should be lifted and stored in areas where with freezing winters. They may also be lifted and stored in the summer in areas with where temperatures are hot and really moist.

Freesia is an excellent plant for forcing or greenhouse culture where not hardy. They are beautiful in beds, containers and cutting gardens. If corms are planted at intervals, successions of blooms will grace the garden for cutting. Expect flowers to appear about 10 to 12 weeks after planting.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    8, 9, 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

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Houseplant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No