Consider the humble Blackberry Lily for your sunny to partly shaded borders. Too seldom seen in American gardens, it features the foliage of an Iris, the blooms of a Lily, and the fruit of a blackberry (sort of!). Long-blooming and very easy to grow, it is a fine addition to any planting, resembling nothing else around it yet very lovely in its own right.
Native to China and Japan, this relative of the Iris found its way to the United States some time ago and quickly made itself at home. It is a welcome surprise when found in the wild, where it has escaped from gardens; and it will be a beautiful addition to your own display. The Foliage is gray-green and matte, held upright like an Iris's, and reaching 2 to 3 feet tall. The blooms are borne at the end of long, wiry stems, and reach about 2 inches wide. The petals are long, slender, and incurved to form a bowl shape, with a rich orange base and liberal scarlet spots. Jazzy and wild, with no two just alike!
The flowers arise in midsummer and continue well into fall in most areas. They are followed by plump seedpods that split open to reveal glossy, round black fruits, the "blackberries" of the common name. (Needless to say, do NOT eat them!) They're interesting and quite ornamental, adding another season to this perennial's beauty.
Belamcanda chinensis spreads slowly by rhizomes, so while it won't take over the garden, it isn't likely to die out, either. New plants replace the old, until one day you realize your original planting was actually a bit to the left or right, but the new one is bigger, more beautiful, and altogether pleasing, too.
Give Belamcanda full sun to light shade in any well-drained soil, including rocky or clay ones. It will reach 2 to 3 feet high and up to about 18 inches wide. Zones 5-10. Cannot ship to AZ, CA, OR, WA.
|Zone||5 - 10|
|Bloom Season||Mid Summer - Early Fall|
|Plant Height||24 in - 3 ft|
|Plant Width||15 in - 18 in|
|Bloom Size||2 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Easy Care Plants, Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Flower|
|Bloom Color||Orange, Multi-Color, Red|
|Foliage Color||Blue, Gray|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained, Dry|
|Resistance||Disease Resistant, Heat Tolerant, Pest Resistant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy|
|Uses||Border, Cut Flowers, Outdoor|
|Restrictions||Canada, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Washington, Guam, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, California|
- Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
- If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
- Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
- Since many butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved, try to put in some that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
- Certain colors are particularly attracting to butterflies – red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms that are clustered or flat-topped, with a short flower tubes are especially attractive to adult butterflies.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
- Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
- Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
- Create a "puddling area" by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
- If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
- Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.
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