Ferraria crispa, the sea spider has sword-shaped leaves typical of the monocots. The stems are partly covered by the leaves and may branch or be twisted in different directions.
The earlier subspecies are no longer recognised: F. crispa subsp. crispa bearing bigger flowers occurs south of Saldanha and subsp. nortierii that flowers earlier and grows to the north in the species distribution.
There are 15 recognised Ferraria species, mostly found in the western parts of South Africa, with the exception of F. glutinosa that occurs in southern tropical Africa (Manning, 2009; www.arkive.org).