Aristea ecklonii

Scientific name: Aristea ecklonii

Author: John Gilbert Baker 1834-1920

Common name: Blue Stars, Blousterre (Afrikaans), phayimashimane (Swaziland), ikhambi eliluhlaza, ikkwanyana, umabhanjana, umafosi, umhushuza (Zulu)

Family: Iridaceae


Aristea ecklonii   


Half way between the carpark and the Visitor Centre is an easy place to admire our Blue Stars, Aristea ecklonii. They are also on display in the lower Residence Garden. Another species, Aristea ensifolia, can be viewed in the African section of the Rock Garden.

Mid-morning to early afternoon is the best time to view our feature plant, Aristae ecklonii. Why? Because it closes its flowers quite early in the afternoon. Imitating a clump of grass all year, this plant is hardly noticed until early summer and then we get quite a few enquiries about the very attractive blue flowers.

South Africa’s renowned botanical artist and field botanist, Elsa Pooley, advises that forest margins, streambanks, grassland and shrub from Eastern Cape Province in South Africa to Tanzania are home to the Blue Stars.