Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Plant of the Week - Leopard Flower

This week’s pick is a favorite of mine, and we chose it thanks to an email this week asking to have it identified. It was found by the creek in their backyard. Is it a tiger lily? Daylily of some type? What is it? Well, it happens to be neither although the name was close. Its Belamcanda chinensis, also known as Iris domestica (because its in the iris family) (confused yet?), and commonly known as the Blackberry Lily, or Leopard Flower.

Easy to grow, first year flowering perennial with sword shaped leaves (24 inches tall) and covered mid to late summer with those gorgeous 2-3 inch star shaped golden orange flowers with red speckles (6 large petals per flower). The flower is short lived, but the plant produces a multitude of successional flowers. Once finished flowering, those turn into shiny black seed clusters resembling blackberries. And both the flowers and the seed heads are superb for cutting. Hardy Zone 5 / prefers sun or part shade / moist but well drained soils / low deer browse / deadhead to prolong blooming (and prevent self-seeding if important – can naturalize) / plant in borders, containers, naturalizing, etc. / show is better up close!


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