Trimezia steyermarkii: Yellow walking iris

Family: Iridaceae
Common name: Yellow walking iris, Traveling Iris, Forenoon yellow flag, Hand of God, Steyermark’s Trimezia

Beautiful, evergreen, blooming throughout the year, and low maintenance – what more can you ask from a flowering plant? That’s Yellow walking iris plants for you.

These plants can grow to a height of 1-1.5 meters, forming large clumps of long, narrow leaves. Yellow walking iris leaves are 60-90 cms long, sword-like, with a smooth, thin texture, and a prominent mid-rib. Central leaves are upright, whereas outer ones bend downwards.

These plants produce beautiful yellow flowers that are 6-8 cms in diameter, bright yellow with brown spots. Flowers are held aloft on tall stalks that rise above the level of the leaves, making the flowers very prominent.

Yellow walking iris flowers have 3 prominent large petals and 3 small petals. The center of the flower is light yellow, mottled with brown dots, and having prominent stamens. Though not very common, these plants also produce 3-lobed fruits containing seeds.

Yellow walking iris plants have long rhizomes, that help the plant to spread quickly making the clumps larger. These plants make beautiful ornamental plants for home gardens because of their beautiful foliage and striking flowers.

Yellow walking iris plants can bloom almost throughout the year, but they primarily flower in summer and spring. They grow well in warm, tropical countries.

Yellow walking iris plants don’t need much maintenance, as they are tolerant of bright sunlight, partial shade, weather fluctuations, heavy rains, drought, poor soil and pollution.

Flowers are short-lived, wilting by evening. But since the plant produces multiple flower stalks, it has open flowers on most days.

One unique characteristic of this plant is the aerial plantlets that are produced on spent inflorescences. They look like small plants with few roots at the bottom. These can be cut with a pair of sharp scissors and replanted to produce new Walking iris plants.

These plantlets can arch and touch the ground when they become heavy, producing roots and new plants. Hence the plant is also called Traveling iris. When planted in pots, these plants can quickly fill the pot with thick rhizomes and foliage.

These plants are very popular with nurseries and gardeners since they be propagated through seeds, aerial plants or through rhizomes.