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Neomarica - Walking Iris

Neomarica (Walking Iris, Apostle's Iris or Apostle Plant – names also used for the related genus Trimezia) is a genus of 16 species of plants in family Iridaceae, native to tropical regions of western Africa, Central and South America, with the highest diversity (12 species) in Brazil. The genus name is derived from the Greek words neo, meaning "new", and Marica, the Roman nymph

They are herbaceous perennial plants that propagate by way of a thick rhizome and new plantlets that develop from the stem where flowers once emerged. The plants grow erect, and have long slender lanceolate leaves from 30–160 cm long and 1–4 cm broad, depending on the species. They produce very fragrant flowers that last for a short period of time, often only 18 hours.

The flowers emerge from what appears to be just another leaf, but is really a flower stalk structured to look like the other leaves; they are 5–10 cm diameter, and somewhat resemble Iris flowers. After pollination, the new plantlet appears where the flower emerged and the stalk continues to grow longer. The weight of the growing plantlet causes the stalk to bend toward the ground, allowing the new plantlet to root away from its parent. This is how it obtained the common name of "Walking Iris"

In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other,[2] and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.

 

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Taken on November 5, 2014