Aristea Ecklonii is also known as Blue Stars, Blue Flies, Blue-eyed Iris, Blue eyes, Blue Corn Lily, Blue Star Iris, or African Blue. It is native to Central and Southern Africa. It ranges from South Africa to Cameroon and Tanzania. The name Aristea is from Latin Arista which means spike. This probably refers to the leaves.
Aristea Ecklonii is part of the Iridaceae family of plants. The name is from Latin, arista means spike referring to its leaves. Aristea Ecklonii was named after Christian Ecklon (1795-1868) a Danish botanist.
Aristea Ecklonii is a rhizomatous perennial. It is clump-forming and evergreen. It is also Frost hardy. Aristea Ecklonii has grass-like green basal leaves. The leaves remain green all year. If you cut the plant back they will grow again. Aristea Ecklonii is a fast grower. It can grow to 50cm or 20in tall.
The Aristea Ecklonii flowers are violet-blue. They open in the morning and fade by the afternoon. They have 6 tepals. After flowering, Aristea Ecklonii produces an oblong capsule.
Aristea Ecklonii can flower all year. When planted in the garden usually it flowers in the summer. Aristea Ecklonii self-seeds. The seeds usually get dispersed by the wind or water. They usually germinate after a fire. It is considered invasive in Australia.
How to grow Aristea Ecklonii:
Plant Aristea Ecklonii in moist, humus-rich, and fertile soil that is also well-drained. Place it in the sun. Aristea Ecklonii does not like to be moved or for its roots to be disturbed. During the growing season water regularly. Fertilize the plant for better performance.
Remove flower stems after flowers are gone. Propagate Aristea Ecklonii from seed or by division in autumn. You can plant the seeds anytime. But they usually germinate in springtime.
Interestingly Aristea Ecklonii in its natural habitat usually flowers profusely after a fire. The flowers attract butterflies.