This is one of my favourite fragranced flowers I have in my house; if you ever have the chance to get one, jump on it. The walking apostle plant or iris is also known as the poor man’s orchid or one day iris (Neomarica gracilis); it smells like heaven but each flower lasts for less than 24 hours (it is reminiscent of roses or Turkish delight).
It is called walking apostle because it is said that it needs twelve leaves in its fan before flowering (not actually true) and then when it has finished flowering a baby plant grows in the bloom’s place eventually weighing so much that it falls over and roots into the soil creating a new ‘step’ walking along.
They are extremely easy to grow; I have one set growing in soil and another set of babies growing in water. They natively are found in South America in forest areas with low nutrients so they don’t need much fertilisers or any special treatment. I keep mine as an indoor plant and they flower every year; when one flower fades another grows in its place for about a week or so (then the plantlet grows)
When the plantlet grows roots or around three leaves I snap it off and put it in water and two days later it has roots; this plant can be potted on or left to grow in a vase of water.
In warmer climates you can grow it outside and it will form a large clump with many flowers at a time; it likes partial shade and doesn’t do well with heavy frosts.
They really are the easiest house plants – you can forget to water and treat it badly and it will be fine. Just remember to watch out for blooms around this time of year – blink and you will miss one.