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 Weather Station

Products > Dietes 'Jack Catlin'
Dietes 'Jack Catlin' - Jack Catlin's Fortnight Lily

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Iridaceae (Irises)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [D. 'Jimmy Giridlian']
Parentage: (Dietes butcheriana hybrid?)
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Dietes 'Jack Catlin' (Jack Catlin's Fortnight Lily) – An evergreen slow growing perennial that forms a slightly open clump to 30 inches tall by 3 to 4 feet wide with fans of 3 foot long broad sword-shaped dark green leaves that arch over gracefully. The branching inflorescence rises just to the foliage height and has 2 inch wide white flowers with the outer petals heavily marked with white. The flowers are very similar to another plant we used to grow, Dietes butcheriana, which also has similar wide dark green leaves but is more upright growing and seems to be more easily damaged by snails. Plant coastal sun to pretty deep shade and irrigate occasionally to very little. This plant should be hardy at least down to the low 20°s F - we have had this plant in our garden for many years and it seems hardy to all low temperatures we have had since planting it, including 3 nights of 25°F during the January 2007 cold spell. We previously offered seedlings of this plant but these plants are all divisions from the original clone sourced from grassman John Greenlee, who got it from the late Jack Catlin. Mr. Catlin, a renowned plant breeder in his own right had a collection of Dietes hybrids from James ('Jimmy) Giridlian. Mr. Gridlian had created such venerable Dietes hybrids as 'Lemon Drops' and 'Orange Drops' at Oarkhurst Gardens, his Arcadia California Nursery that he operated between 1928 to 1968. He also grew a plant he called Dietes “zululandi” as an unidentified species and made several crosses between this plant and the common Fortnight Lily, D. grandiflora, which he called Dietes 'Africa' (introduced in 1950) and a smaller plant Dietes 'South Africa' (introduced in 1958). We suspect that Dietes “zululandi” may have been Dietes butcheriana and that the plant John Greenlee got from Jack Catlin was one of the hybrids. Whatever it is it is a wonderful and slow growing plant that thrives in the deep shade under our large Arbutus 'Marina'.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Dietes 'Jack Catlin'.