Tigridia Pavonia

Native to Mexico and Guatemala, Tigrida Pavonia grows well in BC. You may want to consider this exotic flower for next year's garden.

Credit: David Tarrant

David Tarrant suggests planting this beautiful perennial in next year’s garden

Tigridia pavonia is a gorgeous bulbous perennial native to Mexico and Guatemala and, as you can see, has outstanding flowers. These pictures were taken in the grounds of an art school in Oaxaca on a trip I took last August.

With November approaching and many gardeners in Canada starting to make notes dreaming about exotic plants they might have in their gardens next year, I thought you might just want to include this one.

Tigridias are treated much the same as gladioli in BC gardens and beyond. The bulbs aren’t easy to find as they come in to garden centres in early spring and are often snaffled up by keen gardeners right away. But you can of course order them online through specialty bulb nurseries.

I do know that they perform well in BC, as years ago the late Jim McPhail used to grow them in the Alpine Garden at UBC.

Tigrida Pavonia

In nature Tigrida Pavonias love growing in sandy or rocky well-drained soil. Of course they do appreciate some well-rotted compost mixed into the soil at the time of planting during April, but remember well drained is the key.

Make sure you plant them in a really open sunny location. Once they start to send up the lovely lance-shaped leaves, water freely until they bloom in mid-summer. Then in October, lift the bulbs and store them in a frost-free but cool environment in dry sand.

Oh and I should add, they do come in other colours of orange, pink, yellow and sometimes white flowers.