Babiana stricta

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Baboon flower
Madeira, Palheiro Gardens - Babiana stricta IMG 2253.JPG
Babiana stricta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Ixioideae
Tribe: Ixieae
Genus: Babiana
Species: B. stricta
Binomial name
Babiana stricta
(Aiton) Ker Gawl.

Babiana stricta (baboon flower, blue freesia) is a species of flowering plant in the family Iridaceae, native to Cape Province, South Africa and naturalized in Australia.[1] Growing 10–30 cm (4–12 in) tall by 5 cm (2 in) broad, it is a cormous perennial with hairy leaves 4–12 cm (2–5 in) long.[2] The leaves show linear venation.

There are many hybrids and cultivars with different colored flowers, usually blue or pink with white additions. In mid- to late spring, each flowering stem produces six or more blooms, each to 5 cm (2 in) across. They are grouped in an inflorescence and often have a pleasant lemon scent. The seeds are black with a hard coat, collected in round seed capsules.[3]

The specific epithet stricta means "erect, upright".[4]


B. stricta is tender (USDA Zones 8-10)[5] and in temperate zones is planted in containers and stored in winter at 5 °C (41 °F).[6]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]


  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  3. ^ Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J.C. (2007). A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae. Strelitzia 18: 1-98. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  4. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  5. ^ Hirt's Gardens
  6. ^ Van Meuwen
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Babiana stricta". Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

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