Tigridia pavonia Liliacea

Tigridia pavonia “Liliacea” – Jockey’s Cap Lily

Outlandish pink flowers rise from pleated iris foliage making an eye-catching tropical statement.


This is an Iris, not a lily as the English name suggests, growing to about 60cm. Each flower lasts just a day, opening early in the day and wilting by evening. They need an open sunny spot. Other varieties come in a range of colours, including; pink, red, white, and orange.


T. pavonia comes from the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, where the bulbs are dry over-winter. These plants are semi-hardy. Though pollinated by hummingbirds in their native setting, T p “Liliacea” sets seed prolifically once established, and seems to come true from seed. The bulbs were eaten by native Americans, with a chestnut-like flavour apparently.

Soil / Aspect:

The literature is very clear that T. pavonia should be very dry when dormant and is not at all frost tolerant. However, T. p. “Liliacea” seems to flourish in the winter rain its gets in Karin’s garden and is not at all affected by what frost we get here.


This plant seems to be pretty much pest and disease free. The bulbs may be left in the ground overwinter. Seedlings should be left to develop where they arise, if possible, moving them into a better position when they die down at the end of their first year.