Saturday, October 15, 2011

Belacamda Lily: Blackberry Lily

This belacamda lily is a late season bloomer in my garden. This picture was taken August 7, of this year. It has since gone to seed, forming first a pod which then split open. The shiny black seed form a cluster similar in looks to a blackberry, hence the name blackberry lily. The very nice blue foliage has now turned yellow in my fall garden.

It is actually a member of the iris family. I grew this lily from seed I gathered, not knowing what the flower would look like. I gathered about a dozen seeds, all of which germinated fairly quickly and easily after a period of six weeks in some damp spaghum moss in my refrigerator. They rapidly grew and flowered the next year. I will confess, they languished over-long in a 6-cell section of a seed flat until mid-summer, becoming overly root bound. If I had promptly planted them, they may have flowered that first fall.

Although supposedly a zone 5-10 plant, I think they would grow well in zone 4. I have mine planted in a perennial border with sedum 'Matrona' and tall balloon flower, partially shaded by a Austrian black pine. This is a relatively pest and problem-free plant. They are long blooming and would make good cut flowers when in flower or as the pods begin to turn brown and split open revealing the shiny black seed.

I gathered a lot of seed this year. So, gardeners (in the United States) on a budget who would like to start a winter project and add this plant to your fall display, let me know. For the price of return postage, I'll mail you a dozen seeds. Post your comment if you desire some, and we'll be in touch. This is my garden share this year!

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