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Dietes iridioides

Dietes iridioides is native to Africa and can be found in the region from Ethiopia to South Africa. It is a rhizomatous perennial. It is part of the Iridaceae family of plants. It is evergreen. They also call it the African Iris, Wild Iris, Cape Iris, Dietes vegeta, Fortnight Lily, or Morea Iris.

Dietes iridioides
Dietes iridioides

Dietes iridioides have sarmentous or sarmentose stems which trail like strawberry stems and they branch out to bear flowers. Dietes iridioides flowers for a long season, from spring to autumn. The flowers are lily-like or similar to Japanese Irises. They are white with yellow and violet markings.

Dietes iridioides flowers are about 8cm or 3in wide. They grow on tall stems of about 60cm or 2ft. They grow dense basal tufts. The flowers have six free tepals. Dietes iridioides seedpods usually cause the stalks to bend down to the ground and that is how they generate new plants.

Dietes iridioides
Dietes iridioides

How to grow Dietes iridioides:

Dietes iridioides is easy to grow. Grow it in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in any soil, but moderately fertile, moist, and well-drained is best. Afternoon shade in hot climates is better. Once it establishes it is drought-tolerant. It is also somewhat salt tolerant.

You can remove seedpods to encourage more flowers but you don’t need to remove the flower stalks. Trim off any dead leaves. Propagate Dietes iridioides by seed or division. It self seeds. Parts of the plant are poisonous. Generally, it is disease-free and pest-free. Watch out for rust, scale, crown rot, and root rot.

Other synonyms for Dietes iridioides, include:

Dietes vegeta
Moraea iridiodes
Moraea vegeta

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I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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