Ipheion uniflorum

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Ipheion uniflorum
Ipheion uniflorum1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Ipheion
I. uniflorum
Binomial name
Ipheion uniflorum

Ipheion uniflorum is a species of flowering plant, related to the onions, so is placed in the allium subfamily (Allioideae) of the Amaryllidaceae.[1] It is known by the common name springstar,[2] or spring starflower. Along with all the species of the genus Ipheion, some sources place it in the genus Tristagma,[3] but research published in 2010 suggested that this is not correct.[4] It is native to Argentina and Uruguay, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental and reportedly naturalized in Great Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand.[5]


This is a small herbaceous perennial growing from a bulb and producing flat, shiny, green, hairless, grasslike leaves up to 30 cm (12 in) long. The foliage has an onionlike scent when crushed. The stem grows up to 20 cm (8 in) tall and bears a solitary showy flower in spring (hence the Latin name uniflorum - "single flower"). Each honey-scented, star-shaped flower has six pointed lobes up to 3 centimeters long in shades of very pale to deep purple-blue.


Ipheion uniflorum has been grown in the UK since 1820, when bulbs collected from near Buenos Aires arrived in the country. It is recommended for growing in a well-drained position outside or as long-flowering pot plant in an unheated greenhouse. Various named forms are in cultivation, some of which may be hybrids. 'Wisley Blue' is a clear lilac blue; 'Froyle Mill' is a deeper violet blue; 'Album' is white. The cultivar 'Alberto Castillo', also white, has larger flowers and was collected in the 1980s by Alberto Castillo, the owner of Ezeiza Botanical Garden, from an abandoned Buenos Aires garden.[6][7] In the USA, the species is stated to be hardy to USDA Zone 5, and is recommended for massing in borders, alpine gardens and other areas, or it can be naturalized in lawns.[8]

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-[9]



  1. ^ Stevens, Peter F. (2001–2010), "Amaryllidaceae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, Version 10, retrieved 2010-11-30
  2. ^ "Tristagma uniflorum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Ipheion", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-12-17
  4. ^ Souza, L.G.R; Crosa, O. & Guerra, M. (2010), "Karyological circumscription of Ipheion Rafinesque (Gilliesioideae, Alliaceae)" (PDF), Plant Systematics and Evolution, 287: 119–27, doi:10.1007/s00606-010-0304-3, retrieved 2010-11-30
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, as Tristagma uniflorum
  6. ^ Beckett, K., ed. (1993), Encyclopedia of Alpines, Vol. 1, Pershore, UK: AGS Publications, ISBN 978-0-900048-61-6, p.675
  7. ^ Rolfe, R. (2001), "Plant Awards 2000-2001", Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society, 69: 482–550, p.488
  8. ^ Kemper Center for Home Gardening, Ipheion uniflorum, retrieved 2010-12-01
  9. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 63. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Ipheion 'Alberto Castillo'". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ipheion uniflorum 'Rolf Fiedler'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ipheion uniflorum 'Froyle Mill'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ipheion uniflorum 'Wisley Blue'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20.

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