This “lily” is actually a member of the iris family! “Iris” honors the Greek goddess of the rainbow, and these flowers add a perfect pop of color! Crimson-red spots cover the mostly orange petals, and fanned-out leaves and tall, clean stems make them ideal cut flowers. The seedheads split to reveal the namesake blackberry-like seedheads that also look lovely in in autumnal arrangements. Blackberry lilies are tough, drought-tolerant, and attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Perennial in USDA zones 5 to 10.
Botanical Name: Iris domestica
Native: Russia, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan
Hardiness: Perennial in USDA zones 5 to 10
Plant Dimensions: 24″–36″ tall, and 12″–24″ wide
Variety Information: 2'', 6-petalled flowers are vibrant orange with red dots, merging into stripes closer to the petal tips.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Bloom Period: Summer
Attributes: Cut Flower
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date or in fall for spring germination.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before your average last frost date. The ideal soil temperature for germination is 65°–85°F.
Days to Emerge: 14–60 days
Seed Depth: Barely cover
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds 6″–8″
Thinning: When plants are 2″ tall, thin to one every 6″–8″
Harvesting: Harvest flowers in the morning, when the stem has one or two open flowers. Seed heads may also be harvested for bouquets. Harvest seed heads when they are green or once they have opened to reveal the black seed pods. For longest vase life, change vase water frequently.