Ipheion uniflorum – Spring Starflower
This is a small herbaceous perennial growing from a bulb, flowering over a long period from late winter into spring. Each 20cm tall stem bears a single flower, though each bulb produces many flowering stems. The foliage has an onionlike scent when crushed. Named varieties are available with flower colours ranging from pure white through lilac and violet. I. uniflorum forms dense clumps that need lifting and dividing after a few years. In some places it can become invasive
I. uniflorum comes originally from Argentina and Uruguay. It was first brought to the UK in 1820 and is though to have arrive in New Zealand during the Second World War. It has now naturalised in parts of New Zealand – you can find clumps on the back of the shore behind Trewavas Street in Motueka.
Soil / Aspect:
It requires well drained soil and a sunny aspect. It does not do well when overgrown by herbaceous perennials or shrubs. However, it does naturalise in grass. It grows well as a pot plant and the provides long-lasting cut flowers.
This plant is disease and pest free as far as I can tell. The main danger is disturbing the plant with the usual gardening activities once the leaves have died down in early summer.