EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 11 - 2005 Num. article: 2005/175

Ferraria crispa found in South-west of Spain

Flowers of Ferraria species (Iridaceae) have unusual shapes and colours, their smell varying from pleasant to carrion-like. Ferraria spp. were brought to Europe before the middle of the 17th century and cultivated there as curiosities. Ferraria crispa originates from South Africa and was introduced into Europe in 1640 for ornamental purposes. F. crispa is approximately 45 cm tall with succulent leaves and bracts. This plant can produce large numbers of seeds and is also characterized by long-lived corms which accumulate from year to year in a chain. Its habitat is mainly coastal on sandstone and loamy places.
Pictures can be viewed on Internet: http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/flora?f=060&level=s&id=1515.
In Australia, it is considered as an invasive species, which easily escapes from gardens. In Western Australia, gardeners are encouraged not to buy or grow them. In Europe, its presence is cited in Portugal (including Madeira), Spain (the East-coast, Baleares and Islas Canarias). F. crispa is also recorded in North African flora. In 2004, its presence was reported for the first time along the coast of Huelva (Andalucía, South-western Spain) in coastal pinewood forests growing on stabilized dune systems. The identified populations formed scattered prairies within the dune systems. It was found that F. crispa had existed in this area for a long time, probably for more than 100 years (previously as a garden plant, and now as an old cultivar in disuse). It is considered that this population may now be established in this part of Spain.


Sánchez Gullón S, Weickert P (2004) Contribuciones a la flora vascular de Andalucía (España) 96. Una nueva especie de Iridaceae para el sudoeste de  España. Acta Botanica Malacitana 29, 297-315.
Department of Agriculture (Western Australia).
Bulb- and corm-producing plants that become bushland weeds by S. Lloyd Garden Note no. 16, June 2004.
Moragues Botey E, Larrucea JR (2005) Els vegetals introduïts a les Illes Balears. Documents tècnics de conservació, no.11, 50 pp.