Blackberry Lilies, aka Belamcanda Chinensis aka Iris Domestica

In February I purchased a container of blackberry lilies at Gardenfest.  Removing them from the pot, I counted 3 huge rhizomes; each had at least 2 “eyes”  (one had 4) with strappy foliage already growing from most of them. Knowing they’d soon strangle if repotted in the container, I quickly planted them in my lily garden, hoping I’d see a few flowers by mid-summer……

Iris Domestica

I may see more than a few!! 😉

I was so surprised last week when stems shot up in every direction with buds forming, one after the other.  As you can see in a photo taken a few hours ago, each main stalk has multiple shoots with A LOT of flowers forming on each!

Iris Domestica, June 23, 2012

Each flower is open for a full day, from dawn to dusk.  As the sun gets lower in the sky, they begin slowly rolling closed in a way that’s reminiscent of a wrung dishrag! Take a look!

Iris Domestica with spent blooms

By late summer, these tiny “dishrags” will be replaced by large greenish pods that split apart in the same way an amaryllis pod does, revealing seeds that look enough like blackberries to give the plant its common name.

As you may have deduced from the title, the moniker is not only inaccurate, but changed ➡ In 2005,  DNA analysis revealed it chromosomally to be fully “iris” not belamcanda as once thought.  Although this taxonomic revision resulted in the new official title of Iris domestica, nearly all commercial nurseries still reference it as Belamcanda chinensis—good to bear in mind should you decide to buy one!

Iris Domestica aka Beautiful!!!

Iris Domestica aka Beautiful!!!

🙂 Until next time…..


24 thoughts on “Blackberry Lilies, aka Belamcanda Chinensis aka Iris Domestica

  1. How beautiful, I have never seen or heard of it in either name. It’s going to be a prolific bloomer, reminds me of a day lily as each flower lasts jut a day.

    • Hello friend! 🙂
      yes, the whole stalk/stem/flower structure looks so lily-like, which is what attracted me to it…and it’s also why I planted it among my other lilies.
      I picked mine up at our big annual plant festival which is the only place I’ve ever seen it sold in person!

  2. Blackberry Lilies are so pretty and delicate.
    Interesting info on the DNA. I like that there now able to better classify varieties and how to tend to them better.

    • This is my first year with them and I’ve been pleasantly surprised! Initially, I thought the flowers might be too small to make a statement, but with so many open at the same time they really ARE noticeable!

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