From the Old World tropics of Asia south through the Pacific islands comes an attractive group of plants, possibly numbering 20-30 species,
named after Diana, the Roman goddess, of hunting and Queen of the woods. In Australia they are collectively called the Flax lilies, which
hints at their relationship to New Zealand Flax; both plants are now placed in the family Phormiaceae. In New Zealand the common name Blue
Berry is applied in reference to the beautiful blue fruit. Dianellas are perennial herbs that form tufts or spreading colonies by spreading
rhizomes. They grow best in full sun to light shade and tolerate moderate frosts and drought, although look best with occasional irrigation.
Dianella caerulea 'Becca' PPAF - Paroo Lily
A 2 foot tall perennial with weeping, strap-like shiny green leaves compressed into flat fans In summer appear the blue to mauve colored flowers and are followed by attractive rich, translucent purple or cobalt colored berries. Plant in light shade to full sun in a well drained soil. Give regular water and mulch. It is hardy to about 20-25 degrees F. This plant is from Australian plant breeder Todd Layt and is marketed in the US by Celebrated Plants.
Dianella caerulea 'Casitas Springs' - Gray Paroo Lily
An evergreen perennial from Australia. Dianella caerulea is a highly variable species and this gray form is a wonderful selection. Clumping plant of erect strap like leaves to about 24 to 28 inches tall and clumping to 2 to 4 feet wide. A small evergreen, tufting perennial with narrow strap-like leaves, compressed into flat fans, forming spreading patches. Flowers and fruit appear over summer, the star shaped flowers vary in color between light and dark blue followed by attractive translucent purple-cobalt which releases an indigo stain when squeezed. Keep well watered and mulched. Hardy to 20-25° F and long-lived once established. Grows best in full sun and needs a well-drained soil. Perfect for use in rock gardens are as a specimen container plant and for an impressive display plant in masse. We received this plant initially from Jo O'Connell of Australian Native Plant Nursery.
Dianella caerulea Cassa Blue PP17,998 ['DBB03'] - Blue Flax Lily
Dianella ensifolia - Umbrella Draceana
A distinctive, compact, soft blue, medium textured, strap leafed perennial to 18 inches tall by as wide. In spring and summer appear yellow throated dark blue flowers that rise a delicate inflorescence about 1 foot above the foliage and are followed by large lilac blue colored fruit. This is one of the slower growing more clump forming types of Dianella that doesn't spread by wide growing rhizomes - it is also a non-cane forming selection of Dianella caerulea, remaining as a tuft of foliage at ground level. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate only occasionally to regularly. Grows well in sandy soils and reportedly tolerates heavy clay if planted on a slope or mound to insure adequate drainage. Evergreen to 24ºF and is root hardy to at least 10ºF. Great as an accent plant or for a mass planting where the recommended spacing is 2 to 3 feet. This plant come from Tod Layt of OzBreed Plants of New South Wales, Australia and is being marketed in the US by Celebrated Plants (VersaScapes) of Mt. Pleasant South Carolina. It was first discovered in 1996 at an Australian nursery in Clarendon, New South Wales. The one known parent plant is Dianella caerulea 'Sydney Ecotype', which is a taller cane forming plant with yellow green leaf color. The breeding program involved open pollination and several other Dianella species were growing in the same location, including D. longifolia, D. revoluta and D. tasmanica. Though this plant is listed by its inventor and on its US patent application as a selection of Dianella caerulea, its pollen parent is thought possibly to be Dianella longifolia because of the similar color and growth habits it shares with this species. This plant is being marketed as Cassa Blue but its cultivar name is 'DBB03'.
This Dianella from Asia east to the Hawaiian Islands has a completely different growth habit, having both basal leaves and up stems that can reach to 6 feet tall. The flowers are a pale lavender blue and are followed by small round blue fruit. Although harder to use in the garden its a must as a curiosity. Plant in the shade or in morning sun.
Dianella prunina Utopia PPAF 'DP303'
A medium sized rhizomatous flax lily that grows to 18 inches tall very attractive contrasting reddish-purple and blue-green foliage (sometimes described as gun metal blue) that twists to expose both sides of the leaf and the reddish edge from any angle. The inflorescence is taller for this species than other Dianella with blue violet yellow anthered flowers rising to nearly 2 feet above the foliage. Plant in full sun to light shade. Tolerates regular garden irrigation to dry conditions and can go extended periods without irrigation but does not do well but not regularly wet soils. Reported hardy in England to 11 F. Plant slightly elevated to prevent crown becoming buried. Dianella prunina has a native range throughout the sandstone areas of the Sydney Basin. It's typical form is very large but the selection Utopia is more compact and bushy thought trials on the east coast of the US note that the leaves have become a little long and floppy in their humid climate. The plant was introduced in the United States by VersaScapes of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and is under review for a US Plant Patent.
Dianella revoluta Baby Bliss PPAF ['DTN03'] - Baby Bliss Flax Lily
A tight clumping rhizomatous evergreen perennial with uniform fans of 1 inch wide blue-green foliage to 12 to 18 inches tall. In spring and late summer appear the pale violet spring on slender stems above the foliage that are followed by small green berries. This versatile and easy to care for selection is great for a mass planting, in the foreground of a border planting or as a small accent plant in the ground or a pot. Plant in full sun to light shade in most any well draining soil and irrigate regularly to only occasionally once established. Trials have indicated that this plant tolerates high inland temperatures and winter temperatures to 20F. Can be planted near the beach as it also tolerates salt spray. This selection comes from Australian plant breeder Todd Layt who selected it as a seedling selection of Dianella revoluta 'DR4000' in 1996 at Clarendon, New South Wales, Australia. Baby Bliss differed from its parent plant by having denser and shorter more glaucus foliage. The plant was introduced in the United States by VersaScapes of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and is has a US Plant Patent pending.
Dianella revoluta Little Rev PP17,719 ['DR5000']- Little Rev Flax Lily
A compact clumping rhizomatous evergreen perennial growing to 14 to 18 inches tall by equal width with ¼ to ½ inch wide foliage that is green on the upper surface and a blue-green on the more visible lower surface and held in uniform upright fans. When present, the flowers and berries of are similar to those produced by the species but this cultivar has only rarely been observed to flower. Plant in full sun to moderate shade in most any well draining soil and irrigate regularly to only occasionally once established. Trials have indicated that this plant tolerates high inland temperatures moderately dry conditions. In trials it has proven undamaged to temperatures down to 21 F and further tests are being conducted to determine how much lower this plant can go. Little Rev can be planted near the beach as it also tolerates salt spray and it is fairly maintenance free but benefits from a trim down to 2 inches above the ground every 2 to 3 years and removal of older lower leaves annually - these tasks best performed in fall to early spring. A great small plant for an accent planting or used in mass planting in low irrigated locations. Plant 18 to 24 inches on center for mass plantings. Little Rev ('DR5000') was discovered in 1996 in Clarendon, New South Wales, Australia, during a seedling selection from seeds off or the unpatented Dianella revoluta 'DR4000'. The plant was introduced in the United States by VersaScapes of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and is has a US Plant Patent pending. The description above is based on our research and observations of this plant growing in our nursery and garden.
Dianella sp. 'Blue Mountains'
This small species of Dianella is a yet unidentified. It was collected in the early 1980's in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia by UCSB professor Armand Kuris. The plant is very unlike the common Dianella tasmanica which is much larger and rapidly spreading, instead, this species forms a
small clump to 1 foot tall with thin gently arching leaves. The pale blue flowers appear in spring and are followed by small dark blue berries. Good for the rockery, mixed meadow planting or as pathway edging. Give occasional irrigation and full sun (coastal) to light shade.We are currently not growing this species.
Dianella tasmanica - Tasman Flax Lily
This large Flax Lily has risen to prominence in large gardens and parks in Southern California. A beautiful 3 foot tall strap leafed plant that can rapidly colonize a planter bed. It has ½ to ¾ inch wide rich blue flowers with prominent brown tipped golden anthers that are followed by slightly oblong ¾ inch long deep blue berries in mid summer. This plant is a must in a garden that can handle its size.
Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' - White Striped Tasman Lily
This variegated form of Dianella is grown for its bold white striped leaves which combine well with the blue berries. The small flowers, which appear in mid spring, have pale violet sepals with white striped green petals and are followed
by attractive dark blue berries. Use to lighten up a shady spot in the garden. As with most other Dianella, this plant spreads by rhizomes and can form a dense stand. Plant in well drained soil and give regular water. Best in light shade
but will take full coastal sun. Our plants came from Monrovia Nursery labeled Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' but are possibly D. intermedia 'Variegata'.
Dianella tasmanica 'Yellow Stripe' - Yellow Striped Tasman Lily
Long, arching grass-like leaves up to 4 ft. are joined by branching sprays of star-shaped, purple-blue flowers in the spring, followed by bright blue berries in the summer. This plant does well in shady, woodland gardens, but will take some sun.It has medium water requirements and is hardy to about 10-15 degrees F.