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All Seasons Nursery & Landscaping

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perennial

African Iris

Dietes iridioides

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African Iris (Dietes iridioides) at All Seasons Nursery

African Iris flowers

African Iris flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9

Other Names:  Fortnight Lily, Morea Iris, Wood Iris, Cape Iris

Description:

Stunning white blooms with yellow blotches and blue centers; good for bogs or ponds as it requires consistent moisture; hardy and easy to grow; blooms all season; a great container plant

Ornamental Features

African Iris features showy spikes of white orchid-like flowers with powder blue overtones and a yellow blotch rising above the foliage from mid spring to early fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive sword-like leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

African Iris is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

African Iris is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

African Iris will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. The flower stalks can be weak and so it may require staking in exposed sites or excessively rich soils. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.

African Iris is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container  Bog 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.