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Products > Dietes grandiflora
 
Dietes grandiflora - 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: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [D. vegeta, Hort.]
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Dietes grandiflora (Fortnight Lily) - This evergreen rhizomatous perennial produces clumps of long, upright narrow leaves that reach 4 feet tall. The flowers rise above the foliage and have outer white petals with a golden area near the base and the inner petals are white flecked with brown at the base. The inner most petal like structures, called style branches are violet colored. Flowers year round in coastal southern California gardens with individual flower lasting only a few days (up to 3) and are quickly followed by new flowers. Flushes of flowers appear on roughly a two week cycle which has given this plant its common name of fortnight lily. The fortnight lily is very drought tolerant in shade but can also be grown in full sun with regular to occasional irrigation. Seems to bloom best with regular watering. A good container plant or used in mass plantings or as a solitary accent clump. Hardy to 15 degrees F. This plant comes from the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa. The name for the genus is from the Greek words 'di' meaning "twice" or "dual" and 'etes' meaning "affinities" because of this plants close relationship to the genus Moraea and the Iris of the Northern Hemisphere. The Dietes were once included with the Moraea, which grow from a corm, but were split off into their own genus because they are rhizomatous plants. Although this genus was described in the 19th century, these plants are often still mistakenly called Moraea. The specific epithet large flowered. Dietes grandiflora has been long grown as Dietes iridioides or Dietes vegeta in the nursery trade. This can be determined by examing the flower tepals and style arms; Dietes grandiflora has brown markings on the inner tepals and dark violet style arms where Dietes iridioides lacks markings on the tepals other than the yellow spots on the outer tepals and has pale violet style arms. As noted in "The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs" by John Manning, Peter Goldblatt and Dee Snijman (Timber Press, 2002) "the two species are often confused in the literature and the name Dietes vegeta has been misapplied to both plants in the past." We also grow a selection of Dietes iridioides that we call 'John's Runner This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Dietes grandiflora.