Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dietes iridioides (Fortnight Lily)

Fortnight Lily, Wild Iris, Cape Iris, Moraea iridioides, Dietes vegeta


Native to eastern and southern Africa, Dietes iridioides (Fortnight Lily) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial with attractive flowers resembling small Japanese Irises. They appear on branched stalks over an incredibly long season, extending from spring to fall and sometimes well into winter in mild climates. Flowering occurs in bloom bursts that seem to occur at 2 week intervals, hence the common name of Fortnight Lily. Each waxy white flower, 3 in. wide (7 cm), consists of 3 outer and 3 inner segments, the latter being adorned with yellow-orange blotches and a few orange marks at their base. Radiating from the bloom's center are 3 pale violet style arms. The flowers last one day, but are quickly replaced by new ones as each stalk carries an endless supply of buds. They rise above fan-shaped clumps of narrow, sword-shaped, stiff, evergreen leaves. A spectacular plant in mass plantings, as groundcover or in containers.

  • Easy to grow, Fortnight Lily performs best in full sun or part shade, in moderately fertile, moist,well-drained soils. Best flower production occurs in full sun, but light afternoon shade is welcomed. Thrives with regular moisture but will perform satisfactorily in poor soil with infrequent watering once established. It is fairly drought tolerant and is reported to be moderately salt tolerant
  • No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for crown root, root rot, rust, scale and nematodes.
  • A welcomed addition to Mediterranean gardens, coastal gardens. Most spectacular when planted in large groupings where it develops a bouquet effect
  • Remove seed pods to promote additional bloom. Flower stems should not be removed after flowering. Clip off any leaves that die. Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.
  • Propagate by seed or division of the rhizome.
  • Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dietes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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rafaelbenari / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dietes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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