1. The Botanical Magazine
  2. The Botanical Magazine, Volume XIII

Aristea Cyanea

Grass-Leaved Aristea
Class and Order
Triandria Monogynia
Generic Character
Petala 6. Stylus declinatus. Stigma infundibuliforme hians. Caps. infera polysperma.
Specific Character and Synonyms
ARISTEA cyanea. Ait. Kew. v. 1. p. 67
IXIA africana floribus capitatis, spathis laceris. Linn. Sp. Pl. ed. 3. p. 51
MORæA africana floribus capitatis spathis laceris. Murr. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. p. 93
IXIA foliis ad radicem nervosis gramineis, floribus ac fructu convolutis. Burm. Afric. 191. t. 70. f. 2
BERMUDIANA capensis, capitulis lanuginosis. Pet. sicc. 242
GRAMEN eriophorum africanum flore lanato. Pluk. Mant. 98.

It will be seen, on consulting the synonyms, that this native of the Cape, though introduced to the Kew Garden by Mr. Masson in 1774, was long before known to a considerable number of Botanists, and it is curious to see the different opinions which they entertained of it; we abide by that of Mr. Aiton, who has called it Aristea, from the bearded appearance, we apprehend, of the Spathæ.

It is a small fibrous-rooted plant, rarely exceeding when in bloom the height of six or eight inches, and would be too insignificant for a green-house collection, were not its flowers of a very brilliant blue colour; indeed Miller, who appears evidently to have cultivated it, says, the flowers make little appearance, and so the plant is only kept for the sake of variety. Dict. 4to. ed. 6. Ixia africana.

Mr. Aiton tells us, that it flowers from April to June, yet Mr. Andrews, intent on giving to Messrs. Lee and Kennedy the credit of flowering it first, disregards this information, and is pleased to conjecture that the plant never flowered at Kew, because Mr. Aiton, as he alleges, has not given to it any specific character; not aware that, as a new genus, its parts of fructification are described at the end of the Hort. Kew. and that no specific character is ever given to a plant, where there is only one of a genus, and that for the most obvious reason.

The Aristea is a plant easily propagated by parting its roots, as well as by seeds, will succeed in a small pot, and though a green-house plant, will not be hurt by the moderate heat of the stove, but flower the better for it.

The blossoms do not expand fully unless the sun shines hot on them.

458Aristea Cyanea
Aristea Cyanea
Grass-Leaved Aristea