1) General Information:
a) Scientific Name and Nicknames: Neomarica, Apostle’s Irisor Apostle Plant)
b) Region of Origin: Mexico, Central and South America, and Trinidad & Tobago
c) Type: Ornamental
d) General History: The genus name (Neomarica) is derived from the Greek words neo, meaning “new”, and Marica, the Roman nymph. They are herbaceous perennial plants that propagate by way of a thick rhizome and new plantlets that develop from the stem where flowers once emerged. The plants grow erect, and have long slender lanceolate leaves from 30–160 cm long and 1–4 cm broad, depending on the species. They produce very fragrant flowers that last for a short period of time, often only 18 hours.
The flowers emerge from what appears to be just another leaf, but is really a flower stalk structured to look like the other leaves; they are 5–10 cm diameter, and somewhat resemble Iris flowers. After pollination, the new plantlet appears where the flower emerged and the stalk continues to grow longer. The weight of the growing plantlet causes the stalk to bend toward the ground, allowing the new plantlet to root away from its parent. This is how it obtained the common name of “Walking Iris”. The other common name “Apostle Plant” comes from the belief that the plant will not flower until the individual has at least 12 leaves, the number of apostles of Jesus.
2) Plant Uses:
a) As Food: n/a
b) As Medicine: n/a
c) Other Uses: Some Neomaricaspecies such as northiana, N. longifolia, and N. caerulea are common ornamental plants that are easily cultivated both in gardens in subtropical and tropical regions and as houseplants in temperate areas.
3) Growing Instructions
a) Growing: the plant itself requires little in the way of maintenance with exception of providing plenty of moisture. You should water your walking iris regularly during its active growth. You can feed the plant every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer in the summer, or use a granular slow release fertilizer annually in early spring as part of your walking iris care.
b) Best time to Harvest: n/a
c) Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
d) Soil Requirements: Rhizomes can be planted in the ground or pots just beneath the soil.Walking iris grows best in moist, well-draining soil in areas with light to full shade but will also tolerate some sun as long as they receive adequate moisture.
e) Propagation: In addition to propagating themselves, the walking iris can be easily propagated through division of offsets or by seed in spring, which is relatively easy as well and flowering usually occurs within the first season.
f) Controlling Spread:n/a
g) Difficulties with this plant:n/a
h) History of this Plant at Hedonisia:n/a
Location on property: Garden R