Harlequin Flower Facts
- The short term of Harlequin Flower serves as the most frequently used common name for an extremely impressive variety of flora. It does possess other names, though. These alternate monikers include such names as the wandflower and the sparaxis.
- Among scientific professionals, however, it typically goes by another name. That’s because such individuals generally refer to the plant by its technical name. That’s the comparatively simple, yet descriptive and accurate term of Sparaxis tricolor.
- Quite sadly, that endemic range appears to remain quite restricted. However, its distinctiveness led to the fabulous species becoming a highly popular import. The plant has therefore become reasonably well established in various small locations.
- The marvelous work of Nature also became extremely common to portions of the United States. As a result, it now grows wild in certain portions of California. It also appears to be continuing to spread, albeit in widely scattered and isolated pockets.
- The Red List of South African Plants lists this species as Vulnerable. This listing for the Harlequin Flower occurs because of several factors. That fact primarily occurs because of its native range. Restricted to begin with, this now faces habitat destruction.
Harlequin Flower Physical Description
The magnificent Harlequin Flower quickly dazzles most of those fortunate enough to encounter it. It does so, however, wholly regardless of any imposing physical characteristics. That’s due to the fact that this intriguing flora ranks as a smaller member of its group.
Nature, though, places no particular importance on simple size in its myriad creations. This particularly gorgeous product of evolution attains an average height reaching between 12 – 14 in (30.5 – 35.5 cm). The lovely blooms further develop atop relatively long, thin stems.
Its foliage also garners its own share of attention. That’s due to the fact that lovely leaves of the remarkable plant typically display a comparatively pale green color. This part of the plant also displays a highly tapered shape, in addition to the unusual color.
Not only that, but the marvelous blooms themselves grow to a very respectable size. These usually attain an average size measuring approximately 3.25 in (8 cm) in diameter. A surprising, stsrongly funnel-shaped tube also sits at the center of each delicate bloom.
Yet the appealing color patterns of the Harlequin Flower present the greatest surprise. The outer edges of each petal display a bright orange or red. The inner portion, meanwhile, presents a bright yellow. A thin black border also separates the two sections of the petals.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Liliales
- Family: Iridaceae
- Genus: Sparaxis
- Species: Sparaxis tricolor
Harlequin Flower Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Regrettably, the Harlequin Flower evolved as native to an extremely limited range of natural habitation. That, however, is a region of the world already renowned for its abundance of remarkable flora and fauna. It appears natively only in portions of southern Africa.
For the moment, evidence further indicates that the species never appeared naturally in any greater range. The reason for this remains a mystery for the moment. Currently, even within this terribly restricted range, it’s only found in scattered population concentrations.
As sometimes happens in Nature, the very nature of the marvelous plant works against it in some ways. That holds true due to its specific environmental requirements. The surprising fact is that this beautiful plant also evolved to thrive in a very specific type of habitat.
The amazing species therefore requires these special circumstances to propser. These include such factors as relatively warm conditions, as well as very well-drained soil placed in sunny areas. That naturally limits its potential to spread outside of its present range.
In portions of the state of California, the Harlequin Flower managed to escape cultivation. This action occurred after its being imported as a frequently used garden plant. Due to this escape, scattered populations of the plant now exist in various portions of the region.
Species Sharing Its Range