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House Plant ID please.

essex, England Eng

I bought this plant, well at the the time it was just 3 shrivelled bulbs in a pot with a few brown leaves, on the bargain shelf at B & Q a couple of years ago, it did'nt have a proper lable, but hand written on the front was 'Indoor Iris' well i nursed it back to health it is now florishing,- as you can see from the pic. Just to discribe it a bit better, it has three bulbs, the top half of the bulbs above the soil surface. long grassy like leaves that are quite sharp coming out from the centre of each bulb. There is no stem as such, although maybe in time it will grow one as it seems to have the same growth habit as a Dracaena, it has never flowered, and currently stands approx 10" high, and the leaves trail downwards and seem to spirle at the ends and are approx 14-18" long. I have been through all of my books and can not find an exact match anywhere, my first though was Beaucarnea - but having reserched it, i am not so sure, as it is much smaller than the vareities i have listed, and the base of the plant is most definately a bulb not a flask type root - if that makes sense - but i know that these are far more common in the USA than here in the UK, maybe someone in the States may reconise this or know of a variety that would fit this discription. i have also looked up 'indoor Iris' and can find nothing remotely like it, can anyone help. its not often that i get stumped by a house plant, - but this one has got me, really hoping that someone will be able to put me out my misery - PPPlllleease!




The indoor iris is otherwise known as Neomarica gracilis - Walking Iris. It is similar to your plant and I suppose it could well be, but I think you will need to wait until it flowers to be absolutely sure.
I have done some research and it originates in Brazil in warm boggy areas. It will need to be well watered, potted in a nice nutritious soil and fed once a year, it doesn't like to be pot bound and may take 2 - 3 yrs to bloom in a colder climate. Do a google search and I'm sure you'll get all the information you need.

4 Dec, 2008


Thanks Andrea, i'm gonna look that one up, the listings i have Neomarica in my RHS guide don't sound at all like the plant i have, but i don't have this spec listed at all. your a diamond x

4 Dec, 2008


This does look like something I've seen before, but I'm having trouble remembering the name. I do have a question. Are the edges of the leaves rough or sharp? From your pic I seem to think the leaves should be sharp and cut your hands. I will try to do some more research and see what I can come up with.

5 Dec, 2008


they are indeed sharpe, very easy to get a grass cut from.

5 Dec, 2008


Duh! had I read it carefully I'd have known that. Unfortunately I can not come up with anything other than the Beaucarnea. I guess it will just take someone more knowledgeable then I, maybe greenthumb will know!

5 Dec, 2008


Are you sure it is not in the bromeliad family? That would be my first direction.

6 Dec, 2008


No defo not a Bromeliad, i have never known one that grows from a bulb, but thanks for your sagestion.

6 Dec, 2008


I have one of these too and am also desperate to find and answer - I bought this at Ikea a few years ago - 3 bulbs in a pot 1/3 above the soil surface. I have potted it on and the bulbs just get bigger and bigger! The bulbs are very hard and very round, the section protruding from the top of the soil is very coarse sort of crusty if you like. The leaves are now close to 3 ft long and a trunk (like cordylines) has slowly started to form, it's now about 1 inch in about 5 years.

If anyone has the answer please let me know too.

20 Mar, 2009


this sounds just like mine Janet, only mine does'nt have a trunk, but then mine is not 5 years old as yet - only about 3, but i would kind of think it could then be my origianal idea of Beaucarnea, if it does grow a trunk, tap in Beaucarnea into google and see if you think this is what you have, it may shed some light on mine too. let me know what you find out.

20 Mar, 2009


This is definately a possibility, I was not convinced until I found the picture on this link:

This could be a photo of one of mine!

I was sure they looked liked bulbs when I potted them on and I can't find anything that references that, but I will keep searching. You can't kill these things - not that I've tried... but the more I neglect them the better they grow which also ties in!

I will continue my research and if I find out what it is that brings them on thn I'll let you know.


6 Apr, 2009


It's a ponytail palm.

14 Sep, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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