Herb latin name: Tritonia crocata

Synonyms: Tritonia hyalina

Family: Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Edible parts of Tritonia crocata:

The flowers are used as an adulterant of saffron in flavouring food and colouring it yellow.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry clay flats and slopes in the southern Cape.

Propagation of Tritonia crocata:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse at 15C. It usually germinates freely. Seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a warm greenhouse. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be left undisturbed in the pot for their first two years of growth. Give them an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants become dormant in the summer, pot up the small bulbs placing 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in the greenhouse before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer. Division. Dig up the corms in October, dry them in well ventilated conditions at about 20C and then store them in a cool but frost-free place over the winter, planting them out about 10cm deep in April. Corms should be planted out in the autumn. Cormlets harvested when digging up the corms in the autumn can be stored in a similar manner to the corms. Larger cormlets can be planted out in spring, smaller ones may be best grown on for a year in the greenhouse.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry clay flats and slopes in the southern Cape.

Medicinal use of Tritonia crocata:

None known

Known hazards of Tritonia crocata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.