P.occidentalis.JPG (39411 bytes)Patersonia occidentalis:  is a member of the Iridaceae family. The species is commonly known as the Long Purple Flag.
Patersonia occidentalis is a perennial herb with dense tufts and much-branched stems. The leaves are between 10-60 centimetres long and dull green.
The three-petalled flowers are pale blue, mauve and purple or rarely white. The large blooms may be up to seven centimetres in diameter. Flowering occurs in spring and summer. Each flower lasts for less than a day but mature plants will produce a procession of flowers for many months.
Patersonia occidentalis is a widespread species and is found in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. The Western Australian population is said to be the most robust and carry more flowers.
Patersonia occidentalis would be an ideal addition to native cottage gardens and rockeries. An eye-catching display would be created by mass planting the Long Purple Flag.
There are about 20 Patersonia species. Of these 18 are endemic in Australia. As yet they are not widely cultivated but have great horticultural potential.
Patersonia xanthina, from Western Australia, is of particular note as this species has large, bright yellow flowers.
Propagate Patersonia occidentalis from seed or by division which would be the most efficient method of propagation.