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House Plant Index

TWELVE APOSTLES
TOAD LILY
Marica species

Flowers February or March
Potting or re-potting time April or May
Position in garden during summer Semi-shade
Potting Mixture 3

This lovely houseplant is commonly found in collections yet, strangely enough, is seldom offered for sale by florists or greenhouse operators. It is a tropical plant related to the iris. Maricas grow from rhizomes; the fan-like leaf cluster is most decorative. Flowers, which have both iris and tigridia characteristics, appear at the edge of a leaf-like peduncle which climbs well above the leaves. The colorful blossoms are fugacious in nature, lasting for but a single day, yet several of them appear in succession.

Available maricas have either white or blue (violet) over segments. All are more or less spotted or streaked in browns and yellows.

Mwica northiana this species has 2 foot leaves and flowers have violet-tipped inner seg ments, of which there are three.

Marica gracais smaller than M. northiana both in leaf and flower. The blossoms have blue inner segments and brown-marked white or cream outer segments.

Mapica caerulea 3-inch flowers of striking blue. A par ticularly handsome species which is seldom encountered.

Maricas require daily watering, except when resting, and must never be dry when forming buds and blooming. The plants are easily propagated, either by dividing the rhizomes, or by removing and planting the tip of the peduncle after the flowers have finished blooming. The tips quickly grow into new plants, which will blossom in two years.

If ample water is provided, marica, species will withstand a lot of abuse in sudden changes of temperature, dust, and lack of sun-except when blooming. They are seldom attacked by insects or subject to fungus disease, and are thoroughly satisfactory houseplants.


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