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July Plant of the Month
Iris domestica -blackberry lily
by Adrienne Roethling,
Director of Curation and Mission Delivery
Iris domestica is the new species name for blackberry lily (formerly Belamcanda chinensis). Blackberry lily typically grows along hillsides natively throughout the Himalayas and Far East Russia. Not a lily at all, the foliage resembles gladiolus while the flowers are much like an iris. For years, this plant has been admired by North American Gardeners and is an outstanding performer during the summer months.
Seed of the typical orange flowered blackberry lily was broadcasted throughout the garden back in 2011. Several years later, a purple flowering form appeared. Some may experience seed dispersal with the original orange flower form to be abundant, but monitoring the purple, there has been little to now seed dispersal. Seeds from the purple form have been saved and replanted away from the orange species. Plants to grow best in full sun and well drained soils while reaching 2-3’ tall at maturity. The purple flowering blackberry lily flowers well throughout the month of July followed by clusters of black fruits. Fruits are hard with a black skin which gives them their common name. Plants go dormant in winter.
Join or Renew your garden membership for the month of July and your name will be included in a drawing for a complimentary division of the purple flowering Iris domestica.