Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bulbil Watsonia
Watsonia meriana

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Watsonia (wat-SON-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: meriana

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From bulbils

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Watsonia meriana by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Watsonia meriana by kennedyh


2 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Lavell On May 2, 2013, Lavell from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants and I look forward to them all winter. I don't mind the spreading at all; share the extras, very easy to pull out.

Our watsonia are a lovely coral and have multiplied quite a bit the last 3-4 years. Somehow, a white one appeared, just today, in the middle of the bed. I love the height - they never flop over and always bloom (Northern California) the first spring after being divided. I'm out of room in our small back garden, so I'll move some to the front at the end of the season and let my neighbors enjoy them.

If you haven't tried these, please do.

Positive gardeningjan On Feb 6, 2005, gardeningjan from Lake Ozark, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

A friend in zone 8 gave me, zone5b according to USDA map, zone 6a according to me, a start. I've had it two growing seasons, it has spread slightly, not invasive as yet and it is easy to keep within bounds by pulling out new shoots should it begin to spread more. Lovely dainty, orange/red flowers that hold blooms for weeks. Stalks are study so survive wind and don't flop.

Neutral angelam On Feb 5, 2005, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

In my garden this plant flowers in late Spring, after the first flush of bulbs, but before the real heat sets in. By mid-Summer the sword-like leaves are dying back and it starts to look very untidy, the flower stalks often sag under the weight of bulbils if left uncut ,which, along with its invasive nature, is another reason to remove them. On balance I keep it for the Spring leaves and flowers and its ability to survive in earth that gets baked hard in Summer. The flowers are not very showy, appearing in sequence along the stem, though they are an unusual apricot colour.
I've found the bulbils will get to flowering stage in 2-3 years.

Negative kennedyh On Aug 18, 2004, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is quite an attractive looking member of the Iris family, but beware! It produces clusters of bulbils at every node of the stem and spreads very rapidly and is hard to eradicate once established. In South-east Australia, it has become a major weed, especially along roadside verges.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arroyo Grande, California
Lake Ozark, Missouri

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