Blackberry Lily

24 07 2011

The Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis), also known as Leopard Lily, is native to China and Japan. Although it is called a Lily, it is actually in the Iridaceae (Iris) family. The leaves look exactly like the leaves of an Iris. This drought-tolerant perennial bulb sprouts two inch flowers in mid-to-late summer (in both yellow and this orange variety) and forms clustered black berries (hence the name!). The flowers only last one day and when they dry they twist into corkscrew-like spirals that fall as the seedpods develop. The seedpods will split open in the fall, allowing the plant to self-sow. Blackberry Lilies can be grown in sun or part shade in containers, beds and borders and can reach 24-40 inches in height. They are propagated by division of rhizomes or by seed in the spring and are hardy from zones 5-10.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Wild Iris Dietes grandiflora

27 05 2011

Also called Fairy Iris, Dietes grandiflora is a perennial evergreen plant in the Iridaceae family. Native to South Africa, it is drought and frost hardy.

According to www.plantzafrica.com: the name Dietes means “having two relatives” and refers to the relationship between this genus and Moraea and Iris. Grandiflora means “large flower.” This plant is occasionally called the “Fairy Iris” because the fragile white petals not only look like fairy wings, but also have a tendency to disappear mysteriously overnight!

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.