July 21, 2011

Featured Perennials continues...Blackberry Lily

Belamcanda chinensis is also known as Blackberry Lily.  Like many common names, this is a misnomer.  It is not a lily and it is in the iris family.  The fanned, sword-shaped foliage is a giveaway.  The flowers are unique though.  Some say they look like lilies but they are more open and very small, and appear on branched spikes.  Perhaps it is the orange spotted coloring reminding some of tiger lilies.  To me they look tropical.

Blackberry lily is a full sun to light shade plant.  It grows 2-3 feet tall, with flower stalks held above the foliage.  The flowers appear in late summer and the plant keeps blooming for weeks. The flowers twist on top of the seed pods when spent.  The pods open to expose shiny black seeds that look like blackberries.  They dry on the plant nicely adding fall and winter interest.  I like to cut them for indoor arrangements.