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Blackberry Lily Iris domestica

Previously known as:

  • Belamcanda chinensis
  • Belamcanda flabellata
Phonetic Spelling
EYE-ris doh-MESS-tik-a
Description

Blackberry lily is a rhizomatous perennial in the Iridaceae (iris) family and is native to Asia. It has iris-like leaves but the flowers resemble a lily and the fruit splits open to reveal a cluster of blackberry like seeds. The orange-spotted flowers appear in sprays of 3-12 in late summer for several weeks.

Well-drained soil is a must, especially in winter as wet soils are fatal. Plant in average moist well-drained garden soil in full sun to partial shade 3-4 in. apart (6-9 per sq. ft.) with a depth of  5 in. to base of the rhizome. They are drought tolerant once established.

Use in the perennial border of a cottage or coastal garden.  Mass plant them along a walkway, add them to a cutting garden, or intersperse them throughout a xeric garden.  

Insect, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious pest or disease issuesThe rhizomes could be affected by iris borers.

More information on Iris.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hello Yellow'
    Compact plant with star shaped flowers and sword like foliage.
'Hello Yellow'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#red flowers#cut flowers#orange flowers#low maintenance#cottage garden#summer flowers#herbaceous perennials#border planting#fan shaped#walkway planting#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#spotted leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hello Yellow'
    Compact plant with star shaped flowers and sword like foliage.
'Hello Yellow'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#red flowers#cut flowers#orange flowers#low maintenance#cottage garden#summer flowers#herbaceous perennials#border planting#fan shaped#walkway planting#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#spotted leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    domestica
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The rhizome has been used in Asian herbal medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Himalayas to Russian Far East
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Yellow-green and lobed capsules split to reveal blackberry like seed cluster.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Orange/red flowers bloom at the top of the stems in summer (July to August). The 2-inch flowers are mainly orange but have red dots and a tint of yellow at the center of the flower.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Erect green leaves are up to 10 inches long and iris-like. Grows in flattened fans from an underground rhizome.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    wire-like
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Drought
    Insect Pests
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses