Online Encyclopedia

FREESIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 87 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FREESIA, in botany, a genus of plants belonging to the Iris family (Iridaceae), and containing a single species, F. refracta, native at the Cape of Good Hope. The plants grow from a corm (a solid bulb, as in Gladiolus) which sends up a tuft of long narrow leaves and a slightly branched stem bearing a few leaves and loose one-sided spikes of fragrant narrowly funnel-shaped flowers. Several varieties are known in cultivation, differing in the colour of the flower, which is white, cream or yellow. They form pretty greenhouse plants which are readily increased from seed. They are extensively grown for the market in Guernsey, England and America. By potting successively throughout the autumn a supply of flowers is obtained through winter and spring. Some very fine large-flowered varieties, including rose-coloured ones, are now being raised by various growers in England, and are a great improvement on the older forms.
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