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 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.
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: