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Guide to Growing Blackberry Lily and Leopard Flower Plants

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.

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.

Blackberry Lily

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



Quick Belamcanda Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blackberry Lily, Leopard flower, Leopard Lily.
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.

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.

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 2o 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.


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