Neomarica is a genus of plants in family Iridaceae. They are native to Mexico, Central and South America, the genus name is derived from the Greek words neo, meaning new, and Marica, the Roman nymph. It is a perennial herb with broad strappy sord shaped leaves that can reach a height of 60cm.
It is also called the Apostle Plant, from the belief that the plant will not flower until it has at least 12 leaves. Neomarica is placed in the tribe Trimezieae, along with the genera Trimezia, Pseudotrimezia and Pseudiris. Neomarica is similar to the genus Trimezia, the common names are used for both genera. Morphological characters that have used to distinguish the two include the flower stalk, in Neomarica it is flattened and leaf-like whereas in Trimezia it is circular.
They are commonly known as the walking iris and by its very nature is well suited to growing in hanging baskets but is also a very popular plant in mass landscape plantings. It grows and spreads from the underground rhizones and plantlets form from the ends of the flower stems after blooming. As the plantlets grow in size the stems bend down to touch the ground and take root. Hence the name walking iris. It is also well suited to vertical gardens due to its layering feature.
Neomarica perform best in filtered light to part shade but also performs well indoors. They have orchid-like flowers and are now been hybridised into new colour combinations. An ideal low maintenance plant that is not prone to pests or deseases.