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.





Columbine

15 05 2011

The Columbine gets its common name from the Latin columba or dove. The genus name for the plant is Aquilegia (derived from the Latin word for eagle—aquila—named this because the shape of flower petals resemble an eagle’s claw).  This herbaceous perennial is rated hardy to zone 3 and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is very easy to propagate from seed and will self-sow. The seeds and roots are highly poisonous.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.