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Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides.

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Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides. Also called: African iris, Cape iris, Fortnight lily, Morea iris, Wild iris, Moraea iridioides, Dietes vegeta. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.
Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides.
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Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides. Also called: African iris, Cape iris, Fortnight lily, Morea iris, Wild iris, Moraea iridioides, Dietes vegeta. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides. Also called: African iris, Cape iris, Fortnight lily, Morea iris, Wild iris, Moraea iridioides, Dietes vegeta. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.
Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides.Fortnight Lily, Dietes iridioides.

Fortnight Lily.
Dietes iridioides, Iris Family: ( Iridaceae ), Fortnight Lily. Also called: African iris, Cape iris, Fortnight lily, Morea iris, Wild iris, Moraea iridioides, Dietes vegeta.

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Dietes iridioides or Fortnight Lilies are evergreen perennials, with spreading fans of stiff, leathery sword shaped leaves up to 2 feet long and about 0.75 inches wide.

Once established, fortnight lilies will tolerate poor, dry soils, but they do best in a well drained soil with regular watering during the growing season. Reduce their watering and fertilizer after flowering. Fortnight lilies are not tolerant of salty soils.

The flowering stems of fortnight lilies are perennial, so don't cut them back after flowering.

Dietes iridioides are tough, pest free, drought-resistant plants; which will thrive in semi-shade as well as full sun, they often grow where little else will grow. Dietes iridioides will tolerate both wind and frost, and seeds itself freely. They grow well in containers and planters.

There are several hybrids available.


Quick Notes:

Height: 2 - 4 feet.

Flowers: Irislike flowers, rather flattened, and nearly 3 inches across, are milky white with yellow markings on the three larger tepals.found on 2 to 4 feet tall stalks. Subtended by white sheathing bracts; the inner petals are often marked with brown streaks near the base; the style branches are lightly flushed with violet, about 30-40 mm wide. Each bloom usually lasts a single morning. The flowers are closed by midday except on overcast days.

Flowering Time: Spring - Late Summer.

Fruit: Fortnight lily fruits are 1 to 2 inches in size, football shaped, three-sided capsules.

Leaves: Dark green, upright clumps of leaves in a vertical fanlike plane, spreading on creeping rhizomes. They have stiff, leathery sword shaped leaves up to 2 feet long and about 0.75 inches wide.

Found: Origin: Kenya and eastern Africa ranging south to South Africa at the Southern tip of the continent.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F).
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Elevation: 0 to 6,000 Feet.

Habitat: Lower elevations where water is available. It grows well in sand, sandy loam, clay and other heavy soils. It needs good drainage and aeration. It is remarkably tolerant of alkali. In its native habitat it is found at the base of "barrancos" where, even during the dry season, a small amount of water is always present in the soil.

Miscellaneous: Fortnight lilies may be killed by severe winters in upper zone 8. However, said to be hardy to 15 degrees F. Fortnight lilies seem to perform best in the light shade of tall, open trees.

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