Belamcanda Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Belamcanda plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Blackberry Lily, and Leopard Flower Plants: Cultivation & Garden Use

Belamcanda plants are hardy perennials.

They are often known by their common names of Blackberry lily or Leopard flower. Varieties include Belamcanda chinensis, Belamcanda flabellata and Belamcanda freckle face.

Blackberry Lily

Following genetical analysis, Belamcanda has now been classified as an Iris, and scientifically renamed to Iris domestica; many gardeners still use their more familiar name..

They flower in the summer with brightly colored sword like freckly orange flowers; many have been bred to have yellow, pink and purple varieties.

Plants of the Belamcanda genus tend to be about 45 to 90 cm in height.

How to Grow Belamcanda Species such as Blackberry Lily

It is best to sow Belamcanda seeds outdoors in the early spring or autumn, lightly cover the seeds following sowing.

If using Belamcanda root stocks then these should be planted at a depth of 5 to 8 cm.

If you plan to start the growing of blackberry lily seeds indoors then sow about eight weeks before planned transplanting outdoors.

The seeds should first be placed in moist soil and placed in a plastic bag, refrigerated for one week before shifting to the light.

Belamcanda chinensis
Belamcanda chinensis (leopard Flower) photograph by Jeffery Coffman.

Growth of Belamcanda should then continue at a temperature of 19 to 29 degrees Celsius.

The seedlings should be planted outdoors in early spring before the last frost or in early autumn.

They should be planted in either a sunny or lightly shaded area of the garden in a moist well drained soil with a pH of 5 to 7 with a spacing of about 15 to 20 cm.

Caring for Blackberry lilies and other Belamcanda in the Garden

Blackberry Lilies are easy to look after: water in dry spells and cut back the plant to the ground in the autumn.

Belamcanda Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blackberry Lily, Leopard flower, Leopard Lily.
Family: Asparagales.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm).
Native: China.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and early autumn.
Flower Details: Orange, red, yellow, purple, pink. Freckled. Flat. Six petals.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Sword-shaped. Grow in fans. Green.
Sow Outside: Cover seed or plant roots at a depth of 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm). Start of spring or the beginning of autumn. Spacing 6 to 9 inches (15 to 22 cm).
Sow Inside: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, place in a freezer bag, and then stratify by refrigeration for one weeks. Germination time: two weeks to two months. Temperature 65 to 85°F (18 to 29 °C). Two months in advance. Transplant outdoors before the last frost or at the start of autumn.
Requirements: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.0 to 7.0. Rich soil, moist soil. Can tolerate many other soils. Regular watering during dry periods. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Propagate: dividing in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Synonymous with Iris domestica. Transferred to the Iris Genus in 2005 upon DNA sequence evidence.

Common Questions

How many members does the Belamcanda genus have?

The Belamcanda genus is small, with only one recognized species.

Do members of Belamcanda make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Belamcanda chinensis or Blackberry Lily is known for its bright flowers and can make a great addition to gardens.

Which Belamcanda species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry Lily) is the species most commonly grown in gardens.

Are members of the Belamcanda plant genus fragrant?

No, Belamcanda flowers are not particularly fragrant, but are visually attractive.

What is the perfect location to grow Belamcanda?

Belamcanda prefers full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth.

Is Belamcanda invasive in the USA?

Belamcanda is not currently considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Belamcanda plants from my garden?

Remove Belamcanda by digging around the base of the plant, loosening the soil, and lifting the plant out.


The Belamcanda genus, also known as blackberry lily or leopard lily, is part of the Iridaceae family. This Asian native is famous for its vibrant, spotted flowers and seed pods that split open to reveal black seeds resembling blackberries.

Belamcanda thrives in well-drained soil under full sun to partial shade. They are usually planted in the spring as bulbs or seedlings. Regular watering is needed, particularly in dry periods, but avoid water-logging. The soil should also be enriched with organic matter to encourage optimal growth.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Belamcanda plants. You may also enjoy the following Iris growing guides: How to grow Iris plants and Japanese Iris.