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Ipheion uniflorum 'Album' - plant of the month June 2016


Depending on the botanical authority used, Ipheion as a genus was subsumed into Tristagma in 2010 ( The Plant List; version1), subsequent work on the genus ( The Plant List; version 1.1) has reassigned Tristagma uniflorum ( the plant formally known as Ipheion uniflorum) back to the reinstated genus Ipheion but leaves an anomalous Tristagma uniflorum, a different plant, still in the genus.

The genus Ipheion is a member of the family Amaryllidaceae in the subfamily Allioideae ( formally members of the Alliaceae). I.uniflorum is native to Argentina and Uruguay in alpine conditions in areas where summer rainfall is not unknown. I.uniflorum has been in cultivation in the UK from bulbs collected in Buenos Aires back in 1820. The white form, 'Album', is one selection af a number of good garden-worthy plants. The cultivar 'Alberto Castillo', also white, has larger flowers and was collected in the 1980s by Alberto Castillo, the owner of Ezeiza Botanical Garden, from an abandoned Buenos Aires garden.


Ipheion uniflorum, in all of its colour forms, makes for an impressive show in the garden in Spring but be warned, it can be a little thuggish when left to its own devices.

Ray Drew