What is the name of this plant?

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)April 11, 2013

What is the name of this plant? These photos were taken in my neighbor's yard and she gave me a bunch, too. She calls them "Pinks". However, these don't really look like anything in the Dianthus family so I'm not sure what they are called.

They have small, pinkish-red flowers with thin, grassy leaves. It is the very first plant to come up and bloom every year. They form large green seed pods and it is easy to harvest the seeds when the pods turn light tan. The seeds are hard, round and reddish-brown. These plants also readily reseed themselves. Does anyone know the name? Are they invasive? What is your experience?

Thanks for the help!
Carol in Jacksonville

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morningloree(9b)

It looks to be a type of rain lily. They have thin strappy leaves almost grass like and produce seed pods. The flower resembles a rain lily.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:24PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Yeah, you are right, they are similar! I have lots of varieties of rain lilies (zephyranthes) but I don't think these are related. These leaves are wider and less thick than rain lily's leaves. These leaves are somewhat similar to an iris except that they do not stand up firmly nor fan out. I hope someone will know what they are.

Carol

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:30PM
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kayjones(Mo6b)

Watsonia borbonica.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:18AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Kay, thank you so much! I think it is some kind of Watsonia! You are so smart. I'm not positive it is borbonica, but it is one of the Watsonias. And sure enough, Watsonia is in the Iridaceae (Iris) family. I had a feeling they might be related because of the leaf structure.

Thank you!
Carol

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:49AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

So pretty! I looked up Watsonia up on GoogleImage & W. borbonica is supposed to grow 4-5 feet tall - this looks shorter...?

In fact, none of the Watsonia images I found look like this plant/flowers - wondering if you tried the 'Name That Plant' forum yet?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:39AM
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kayjones(Mo6b)

Mine is about 4 feet tall - some a bit taller.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:43PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Eureka! Freesia laxa, a.k.a. painted petal flower - now I want it too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Image search results

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 6:14PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Carol in Sarasota, you got it! In the words of Andy Bernard on The Office, "Nailed it!" Thank you! You were right when you said these are short. They don't come up more than a foot tall and also the flowers are only a couple per stem. They don't "stack" like Foxglove or Gladiolas. So it is a Freesia, and yes, those photos are a perfect match.

Kay, you are on it so often, I was sure you were right. I was looking for through the Google images, trying to make it work, LOL. Thank you for taking the time to try and help me.

Carol B and Kay, my neighbor gave me some seeds and I think she may have more. If you would like some, send me an email with your address. She said she just tosses them out into the bed and they seed themselves.

Thanks again for the help!

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:48AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Thanks - I image-searched 'pink iridaceae'. Kay started the ball rolling for sure...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:35AM
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