Here’s a summer bulb flower which is so sophisticated and sexy yet so easy to grow, it’s silly!

Commonly called Mexican Shell Flower or Tiger Flower, Tigridia is a treasure of the mid-late summer garden. Its large flared flowers are vividly colored and come in two-tone combinations pairing white, pink, red, orchid, yellow or orange with contrasting center spots. The flowers are 3 to 6 in. wide (7-15 cm), with three large one-color petals flanking three small spotted petals that emerge from a similarly-speckled center cup.

  • Each blossom rides atop a slender stem, 18-24 in. tall (45-60 cm). The foliage is similar to Sword-Lily (Gladiolus), with upright blade-shaped leaves and produces several flowers per stalk. 
  • Performs best in full sun and well-drained soils. Tolerates part shade In hot climate area. Drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Similarly to daylilies, the delicate flowers of Tigridia bloom for only a single day. But, as each plant produces an abundance of stems, the flowering period, in reality, lasts several weeks.
  • Tigridia excels in beds, borders and large containers where it brings exoticism and distinction. Plant them among low-growing flowering plants or groundcovers as their foliage is sparse and their stems thin and delicate. An added bonus: cut the first flowers back (six inches down the stem) and they should bloom again!
  • Plant the corms about 3 in. deep (7 cm) and 5 in. apart (12 cm) and water well over the season. Then wait to see the look on the faces of your friends and neighbors. Few are likely to guess how easy they were to grow!
  • Plant in spring in groups of minimum 3 bulbs for a striking display!
  • Tigridia grows from bulbs that produce offsets, eventually forming large clumps. They should be divided every three years or so to maintain a relatively compact clump.