Harlequin Flower Facts
- The Harlequin Flower possesses a most unusual pattern of colors, consequently making it readily distinguishable from other plants within its endemic range.
- While it’s endemic range is quite restricted, the distinctiveness of the species led to its being imported to portions of the United States. As a result, it now grows wild in certain portions of California.
- In addition, the Red List of South African Plants lists this gorgeous species as Vulnerable. This is because of its native range, restricted, to begin with, now faces the threat of habitat destruction.
Harlequin Flower Physical Description
It’s worth noting that the gorgeous Harlequin Flower ranks as a small flower species. This is because the long, thin stems average 12-14 in (30.5-35.5 cm) in height.
Their leaves typically display a pale green color and a highly tapered shape. In addition, the blooms themselves average 3.25 in (8 cm) in diameter.
Yet their color patterns present the greatest surprise. The outer edges of each petal display a bright orange or red, while the inner portion presents a bright yellow. A thin black border also separates the two sections of the petals.
A short funnel-shaped tube also sits at the center of each delicate bloom.
Species: Sparaxis tricolor
Harlequin Flower Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The most noteworthy fact about the beautiful Harlequin Flower continues to be the extreme restriction of its habitat range. This species only occurs endemically in the northwestern section of Cape Province, South Africa. It also only grows there on the northern section of the Bokkeveld Escarpment.
Not only this, but it only grows naturally in areas with a high concentration of clay in the soil.
The plant only grows from an underground structure known as a corm, which remains dormant during the summer.
This perennial species grows during the winter, and blooms in the early spring.