Patersonia fragilis (Labill.) Asch. & Graebn.

Short Purple-flag

Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 3: 522 (1906) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Tufted or tussock-forming herb. Leaves linear, 20–60 cm long, 1–6 mm wide, biconvex to terete, grooved, glabrous, slightly glaucous; apex often pungent. Inflorescence with scape 4–25 cm long, glabrous, striate, clasped by 1 reduced leaf. Primary bracts ovate, 2.5–4.5 cm long, green to pale brown, with texture similar to leaves; margin dry, membranous, usually brown; involucre 5–9 mm wide; inner (secondary) bracts enclosed. Perianth tube 2.5–3.5 cm long, glabrous, slightly exserted; outer perianth lobes obovate to rhomboid, 1.2–2.3 cm long, 1–1.5 cm wide; inner perianth lobes narrowly obovate. Staminal filaments 2–3 mm long, almost completely united. Ovary glabrous. Capsule cylindric, 2.5–3 cm long, apiculate; seeds compressed-ovoid, c. 2.5 mm long, black; aril present. Flowers Aug.–Dec.

DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, GGr, HNF, HSF, OtP, OtR, Strz, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Widespread in wet coastal heathlands and open woodlands in sandy soils.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1994). Iridaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Iridaceae
genus Patersonia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Patersonia fragilis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Patersonia fragilis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory