Watsonia (Bugle Lily)

Watsonia is a genus of about 50 species of perennials in the family Iridaceae, native to southern Africa.
Watsonia produces sword-shaped or lance-shaped leaves and showy spikes of tubular flowers with spreading lobes.
With their bright colors and tall flowering spikes, these lovely plants will add a colorful vibrance to any landscape. Give them sunshine and some occasional water and they will pull out a smile from your face every time you see them!

Name meaning:

Its genus name is given in honor of English botanist, physician and naturalist Sir William Watson (1715-1787).

The common name “Bugle Lily” is derived from its distinctive bugle (or trumpet) shape.

Watsonia symbolism:

Watsonia symbolizes innocence, purity and chastity.

Interesting facts about Watsonia:

Cape Bugle Lily (Watsonia borbonica)

Watsonia borbonica is a perennial plant that produces pink or white trumpet-shaped flowers on tall flower spikes. It is native to South Africa, where it is found on rocky, well-drained slopes or sandy soils.
The plant is particularly abundant following a fire, during the first and second years after disaster. It provides a major source of food for nectar feeding insects and birds in areas that have burnt.

Is Watsonia Invasive?

A few species, such as Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera, have become aggressive weeds in Australia, New Zealand and California.

Plant Type:

Bulbs, Perennials


The flowers come in shades of red, pink, orange, purple and white.