Friday, February 20, 2009

Fortnight Lily ~ Dietes iridioides

Many years ago I bought this wonderful plant at a local flea market. It is a real joy when this plant is in bloom,and it always makes me feel happy.

These are evergreen perennials with spreading fans of stiff, leathery sword shaped leaves up to 2 ft (0.6 m) in length but only 0.75 in (1.9 cm) wide.

The upright clumps of leaves are held in a vertical fanlike planeand they spread on creeping rhizomes which sometimes ascend a few inches. The 2-4 ft (0.6-1.2 m) flowering stalks, which are perennial, are branched and stiffly wiry, bearing a succession of short-lived irislike flowers throughout spring and summer. The flowers, rather flattened and nearly 3 in (7.6 cm) across, are milky white with yellow markings on the three larger tepals. (The three petals and three similar sepals of iris flowers are collectively called tepals.) Fortnight lily fruits are 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm) football shaped, three-sided capsules.

For more information about this see Floridata.


gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

It's very pretty, it does have a similar look to an iris.

FlowerLady said...

Hi Catherine ~ Thank you. It looking like an iris is why I called it one. I enjoy it growing in my gardens.


Marla said...

I think that this looks like an iris, it's beautiful.

Plant Lady said...


Thanks for visiting me today! When I say I have blueberries, I'm not just talking a few bushes. My dad has a blueberry farm a few miles away and I have shared in the production and work since I was a little girl, old enough to help out even by sweeping out the packing shed. My dad is 83 and he is depending more and more on me to help harvest and ship the crop each year through a co-op. It makes for a busy three or four weeks for me around the middle of May. Hard work is good for us, I'm told!

Yes, I will be posting photos of the garden and all the "happenings" will be recorded for everyone's amusement! Ha! Ha!

When I receive my seed order, I will detail my efforts in the greenhouse. Stay tuned for the exciting adventure!

Plant Lady

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I planted a version of Dietes this past summer. They smell terrific too. Such a delicate flower. I hope they return.

FlowerLady said...

Marla ~ Yes, it does look like an iris.

PlantLady ~ What a great experience you have had since childhood, growing blueberries with your father. Hard work is good for us, but so is playing. I bet you have lots of wonderful blueberry recipes. ~ I will be checking out your blog for what's happening this spring.

Hi Tom ~ What color is yours? Next time mine are in bloom, I'll have to get close enough for a whiff of scent. At the moment I can't remember if they have one or not. I wouldn't be surprised though, if they do. Looking forward to seeing your gardening progress also. I like the different beds that you have started and your arbor, etc., all surrounding your lovely brick home.