Freesia is a genus of herbaceousperennial flowering plants in the family Iridaceae, first described as a genus in 1866 by Chr. Fr. Echlon (1795-1868) and named after German botanist and doctor Friedrich Freese (1794-1878). It is native to the eastern side of southern Africa, from Kenya south to South Africa, most species being found in Cape Provinces. Species of the former genus Anomatheca are now included in Freesia. The plants commonly known as "freesias", with fragrant funnel-shaped flowers, are cultivated hybrids of a number of Freesiaspecies. Some other species are also grown as ornamental plants.