African Corn Lily

Scientific Name
Ixia polystachya L.
Higher Classification
Ixia aristata Thunb. var. elegans (Regel) Baker, Ixia elegans (Regel) N.E.Br., Ixia erecta P.J.Bergius, Ixia maculata L. var. caesia Ker Gawl, Ixia polystachya L. var. crassifolia G.J.Lewis, Ixia polystacia Mill. (superfluous name for Ixia polystachya L.), Ixia serotina Salisb. (superfluous name for Ixia polystachya L.), Ixia viridiflora Lam. var. caesia (Ker Gawl.) Baker, Watsonia campanulata Klatt, Wuerthia elegans Regel
Common Names
African Corn Lily (e), Corn Lily (e), Geelkalossie (a), Koringblom (a), Koringblommetjie (a), Witkalossie (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
A widespread and fairly common species that is however declining due to ongoing extensive habitat loss and fragmentation of lowland subpopulations.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Olifants River Valley to the Cape Peninsula and Caledon.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Lower slopes and flats in granite fynbos and renosterveld.
This species has declined extensively on the Cape Peninsula and around Stellenbosch due to habitat loss to urban expansion and timber plantations. In the Swartland, Breede River Valley and around Caledon, its lowland habitat has been extensively reduced and fragmented due to agricultural expansion. A few subpopulations in protected montane are not currently threatened, but could be impacted if unmanaged alien invasive plants are allowed to spread further.

This species is widespread and still common, in spite of habitat loss across parts of its range.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ixia polystachya L.LC 2017.1
Ixia polystachya L. var. polystachya Least Concern 2015.1
Ixia polystachya L. var. polystachya Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Ixia polystachya L. var. crassifolia G.J.LewisLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

De Vos, M.P. 1999. Ixia. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of Southern Africa 7 Iridaceae Part 2: Ixioideae, Fascicle 1: Ixieae:3-87. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2016. Systematics of the southern African genus Ixia L. (Iridaceae): 5. Synopsis of section Ixia, including five new species. South African Journal of Botany 104:175-198.

Lewis, G.J. 1962. South African Iridaceae. The genus Ixia. Journal of South African Botany 28:45-195.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

von Staden, L. 2015. Ixia polystachya L. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/07/03

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Distribution map

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