Turquoise Ixia Care: Growing Turquoise Ixia Viridiflora Plants
The following are some facts about the plant:
1) It is native to the mountains of China and Vietnam.
It grows up to 2 meters tall and 1 meter wide. Its leaves are green with white veins, which are long and narrow. They have four leaflets, each leaflet having five petals.
The flowers bloom from March through May.
2) It was introduced into Australia in 1887.
However, it did not become popular because it was difficult to grow and only grown under special conditions. It took another ten years before the plant became widespread. Today, there are many varieties of turquoise ivy plants available in Australian nurseries.
There are even cultivars that can be grown indoors!
3) The flower buds contain a toxin called cyanide that causes death within minutes if ingested or inhaled.
The poison is produced when the plant’s sap secretes when cut open.
4) A few species of turquoise ivy are invasive and they spread rapidly.
They cause damage to gardens, roadsides, fences, buildings and other vegetation. Some varieties are known to be toxic to livestock such as cattle. Other varieties may be poisonous to humans but the toxicity varies greatly depending upon the variety and how much exposure a person has had to the plant in its natural habitat.
It is claimed that a large number of people in Australia have died as a result of the plant.
5) There are several methods of disposing of the plant.
The most effective method is to spray the plant with a herbicide such as glyphosate or gradglyphosate. This should be done during the growing season from April to September. The plant should not be removed because it will regenerate from the rootstock and may spread to other areas.
It is important to wear protective clothing when spraying the plant with herbicide.
You can also dig up the plant or treat the leaves with roundup, but this is more labor intensive. It is very important to make sure that you have identified the correct plant before you start treating it in any way, because it could be an undesirable alternative such as a native thistle.
Finally, the plant can be manually removed or dug up. The rootstock will regenerate. You may also need to dispose of the rootstock in the correct way.
6) It is the state emblem of Victoria, Australia.
Ixia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae. It contains about 200 species of perennials, succulents and geophytes. The genus is native to southern Africa, with a few species in Arabia.
The flowers are usually arranged in more or less circular inflorescences, often of great size. The blossoms may be solitary or arranged in spirals, as in I. turricula. The six petals are usually broadly obovate and often have a polish that gives them a pearly appearance, hence the old generic name of Pavetta adopted by Linnaeus.
Many of the South African species are of great beauty, and one, I. ambigua, from Table Mountain, is among the rarest and most celebrated flowers in the world. The Dutch colonists of South Africa introduced it into European cultivation in 1689.
In 1771 the Austrian naturalist Jacquin saw it on Table Mountain and took seeds back to Holland, where it flourished in the botanical gardens at Leyden, Amsterdam and Vienna. Unfortunately the seeds failed to grow and it was not until 1812 that a few seeds were sent to England, where it flowered for the first time in 1814.
During the summer of 1820 it grew abundantly on the mountains, and was gathered in large quantities, almost to extinction. A few bulbs escaped destruction, and from these bulbs English nurserymen raised more plants, which have been distributed throughout Europe. The flowers are of an exquisite shade of blue, and form beautiful specimens when the buds first expand, but in the evening they fade to a dull purple.
They are among the most difficult plants to cultivate under glass.
The bulbs should be planted about three inches deep, nine inches apart each way, in very rich soil. They will flower during the autumn and winter if grown in a house or pit, and also if kept under glass under favourable circumstances outside. They require much moisture when flowering.
The Dutch bulbs are the best.
7) It was used as an adulterant in food to reduce costs in hard times.
Ixia is a genus of ornamental flowers, it contains about 200 species of perennials, succulents and geophytes. They originate from southern Africa, but can be found all around the world. The plant has been used as a source for creating blue dyes since the Middle Ages and is still used today.
It has been used in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, including itching, inflammation, rheumatism, and poor digestion.
Ixia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra zaleutana, which has been recorded on I. zaleutana.
The leaves contain iridoid glycosides like other Iridaceae species.
8) It is very often confused with Iris Columbea, but I.
columbea has broader leaves with white markings.
Iris columbea is a species in the genus Iris, it also has the common name of “Wabash River Iris”. It is native to North America, found mainly in the states of Missouri and Illinois. It has been found in a few wildlife areas, state parks and conservation areas.
It can also be found in one park and one residential area.
It grows on rocky hillsides, glades and limestone cliffs. It has long, narrow, linear, sword-shaped, basal leaves that grow up to between 10 and 40 cm tall. It also has a short stem, with several slender branches holding 1-3 drooping flowers.
The flowers are between 3 and 5 cm across and come in shades of purple, blue or violet. It is one of the few iris species that has rhizomes.
It is listed as “critically imperiled” in Illinois. It is threatened by habitat loss due to limestone quarrying and residential development.
The Wabash River is a river that flows Southwest to Northeast through the US states of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. The river is 314 miles long and carries an average volume of 9,430 cubic feet per second. The river’s tributaries also have their own names, they are called the North River, the Little Wabash River and the Kaskaskia River.
The Wabash River is one of the three oldest rivers in the U.S, the others are the Columbia and the Niagara. The Wabash was known to Native Americans as “Wabasso”, meaning “white clay”.
The river has been subject to several cleanup projects to remove PCBs and other contaminants from the river. Several areas of the river are considered “fish consumption” advisories.
9) It was once a favourite of the Dutch and German settlers in the Zuiderzee.
The Zuiderzee was a inland sea or tidal bay that existed from the Middle Ages until 1932, when it was drained and turned into the waterway known as the IJsselmeer. The name means “Sea of the Ijssel” and was formed by the river IJssel. It stretched from north of Utrecht to the North Sea.
The IJsselmeer is popular for recreation, including sailing, fishing and biking. Many towns along the water’s edge have regattas and yacht clubs.
The Zuiderzee had many dangers for shipping, with sandbanks constantly moving and changing shape. Many ships, known as Zuyder Zee-schippers regularly went down on the sandbars or struck hidden rocks. Many shipwrecks still exist and are now popular diving sites.
The Zuiderzee was also infamous for its inhabitants. These were specially adapted to survive in the watery environment. The most famous were the sea wolves who inhabited the area long before it was drained.
They lived mainly off fishermen’s garbage and offal and had a fearsome reputation. They were said to ambush fishermen going off with their days catch and steal the fish they had caught.
As well as the wolves there were other types of dangerous animals that lived in the area. The most famous was a giant squid-like creature called the Zuysder Zee Slopper. It measured over 30 feet long and had tentacles over 100 feet long.
It was never caught or seen but was blamed for several shipwrecks.
The Zuiderzee Museum in the nearby town of Enkhuizen preserves the culture and history of the area. It is well worth a visit if you like museums. There is an area devoted to the sea wolves with exhibits showing how they may have lived and even a reconstructed sea cave like those they are thought to have inhabited.
10) It was used by sailors to prevent scurvy.
The British Royal Navy allegedly mixed lemon juice with brandy to make the mixture taste better. The nickname “Limeys” originates from this practice. The nickname was originally considered an insult, as limes were more expensive than lemons and the British exclusive right to use limes seemed an unfair advantage over other national navies.
The American nickname for British sailors, “limey”, has remained in use to this day.
In 1747, the British Navy began issuing lemon juice to its sailors as an experiment to determine whether it prevented scurvy. The first results seemed positive but when Captain James Cook’s ships had a relapse of the disease in 1772, the theory was abandoned. In 1790, the French started giving out lemon juice to its sailors and scurvy disappeared.
The British Navy refused to follow the French example and punish its sailors with “fruit drinks”. In 1805, the British Navy finally accepted that lemon juice prevented scurvy and began to issue it to its sailors.
It is sometimes claimed that most of the damage to Robert Falcon Scott’s teams in the Antarctic was done by scurvy. This isn’t quite true.
Scurvy doesn’t directly kill you, but it does make you more susceptible to other diseases and infection. The worst effects of scurvy are the open, bleeding sores that appear all over the body. These sores attract unwanted attention from insects and make movement difficult and painful.
The most severe cases make it impossible to sleep or even to walk. In James Rennell’s 1817 voyage, they only suffered from mild cases of scurvy but various other ailments that resulted from it made the journey a lot harder.
Robert Falcon Scott’s first Discovery expedition in 1902-1904 suffered more than they should have from scurvy because they did not understand how it was transmitted or how it should be treated. They brought many cases of scurvy on their second expedition in the winter of 1911 when they were caught in a blizzard and lost their way. By this time, the effects of scurvy were well understood by the medical community but the British Antarctic expeditions were so isolated from news, it was still possible for these mistakes to be made.
There is an exhibit dedicated to Captain Scott at the RGS. There is also a book in the library of the RGS written by a survivor of that ill-fated expedition, Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
The National Science Museum in Delhi contains an exhibit about the expeditions of Admiral Sir John Franklin to find the Northwest passage and his fate. The British Government sent out several search parties to try to find them, all of which perished or disappeared mysteriously. The Norwegians have a long tale of lost whaling ships and missing rescue parties in the area too.
It wasn’t until 1859 that some of the remaining members of the Franklin expedition were found by a search party. They had all died of various causes, some of them strange. An example was that some died of lead poisoning, which happens when you eat too much canned food.
The remains of the missing members were brought back to Britain and Franklin was found to have died in a sleeping bag that was still tied to a tent. Someone had cut the rope holding it to the tent, suggesting that he had tried to escape from it before he died. His personal letters showed that he had gone mad before he died and he is thought to be one of the last people to suffer from lead poisoning due to canned food.
Whatever the cause of their deaths, the Franklin search parties suffered from scurvy and similar problems to those of James Rennell’s expedition. They lost many men to scurvy and similar ailments. They ended up abandoning some of their own search parties on the coast and returning to Britain before they too died.
In this region of the planet, there is something in the air that destroys people’s health. The Inuit people who live there do not suffer from scurvy or similar problems but the expeditions that have visited the region do.
Perhaps it is something to do with the contamination caused by the nuclear reactors at Chernobyl that is causing this, but that is just a guess.
The area of the planet you are in now has been largely untouched by human exploration or settlement. Your vessel may be the first from humanity to sail these waters.
You receive a message from Mission Control. They say that they have detected an unusually high amount of chlorine in the surrounding waters and the concentrations are even higher as you travel further north. They say that if you enter the region, you should take special care to stop any potential leaks in the nuclear vessel.
They also inform you that your team member, Bjarne Højer, has fallen severely ill. You are unsure if he will recover in time to continue with the mission.
A few days pass and the reports get even worse. You now learn that Bjarne has died from what appears to be a stroke and no autopsy is planned. The team are unsure of what to do.
Some suggest returning to India, others say they should continue. The majority vote to return home and a message is sent stating such.
You are unsure what to do. If you turn back, the team will lose valuable scientific data and two thirds of the team will have been killed or incapacitated. If you sail north, you may well fall ill and die too – or you may find something of great value to humanity.
You have an idea…
You could fake your own death. You are a large man and the only remaining experienced sailor on this mission. You could claim that you are so saddened by the loss of your colleagues and Bjarne that you want to continue the mission alone.
Once out of radio range, you could turn the boat around and sail back to safety. You would not be able to come back here though as the crew would know you fled from the danger.
If you remain with the boat, you will almost certainly become sick or even die.
If you flee, you may well become a pariah for life and your family may suffer. However, your children will still have their father and your wife will not have to mourn the loss of her husband or see him sickened and dying.
You decide to flee. You return home, fall sick but recover. The crew of the boat are found months later.
They have all died and there is no sign of the boat. It seems you were too late and the sickness hit the boat before they could return home.
People are unsure what to think of you fleeing from the sick team. Some respect your position that you only wanted to protect your family but others say you are a coward who left your companions to die.
You become something of a social outcast for the rest of your life. The space program never recovers from the disaster and most of its funding is redirected into other areas. It is still around of course but it is never the same and any space exploration is done by robots or one-way missions by volunteers only.
You die in 2027, just a few months before humanity’s greatest achievement is completed. A mission to Mars which you could have participated in had events been different.
But that is another story.
Sources & references used in this article:
758. IXIA MOSTERTII: Iridaceae by G Duncan – Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 2013 – Wiley Online Library
555. Ixia Tenuifolia: Iridaceae by G Duncan – Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 2006 – JSTOR
601. IXIA VINACEA: Iridaceae by G Duncan – Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Endangered geophytes of the Cape Floral Kingdom by G Duncan – Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 2003 – JSTOR
Plants in the Getty’s central garden by J Duggan – 2003 – books.google.com
The plants that shaped our gardens by DC Stuart – 2002 – books.google.com
Nanostructures for coloration (organisms other than animals) by IC Gebeshuber, DW Lee – 2012 – iap.tuwien.ac.at
than animals)”, Springer Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, Bhushan B. and Nosonovsky M.(Eds.), Springer, ISBN 978-9048197507. doi: 10.1007/978-90-481 … by IC Gebeshuber, DW Lee – iap.tuwien.ac.at