White African Iris

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Botanical Name:  Dietes iridioides

Common Name:  White African Iris, Fortnight Lily

Description:  Exotic white flowers with yellow and purple-blue markings burst from stalks amid stiff, iris-like, evergreen foliage. Profuse bloomer; blooms last only one day but are quickly replaced. Fire resistant. Moderate grower to 3-4′ tall and wide. Repeat blooms late spring to fall. The blooms open on a long stalk one at a time, so don’t cut that stalk off until all the buds have opened. Grows well in moist soil or regular gardening conditions. Great for your rain garden. This looks nice combined with the native Louisiana Iris to continue the iris bloom time. Sun to part shade. Can be divided when the clumps get too crowded about every 3-4 years. Drought tolerant once established, but looks best with regular watering. Attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

Fun Fact: Confusion over correct naming of these African plants occurred when the large plant group known as Moraea was split and renamed: those with evergreen rhizomes were now Dietes, and those having corms were left in the Moraea group. It is sometimes called a Fortnight Lily because the plant will flower consecutively for a couple of weeks and then rest a couple of weeks before another stalk of blooms forms.

This plant in a 1-gallon container is 1-2′ tall and wide.

Hardiness Zones 7-11

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