Blackberry Lily Seeds
(Belamcanda chinensis) Perennial. Zones 4-8.
Also known as Leopard Flower and named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Blackberry Lily is a stunning perennial that will add beautiful colour and whimsy to your garden.
Though the spotted, floating blossoms strongly resemble the Tiger Lily, Blackberry Lily is actually a member of the Iris family.
In early summer, sprays of showy orange, red-dotted flowers bloom on tall, 3-4 foot, naked stems. Flowers give way to long seed pods that split open in late Summer to reveal huge seed clusters that look just like juicy, ripe blackberries (but they are not edible!).
The open, six petalled fan shaped flowers attract many types of butterflies and the unique seed heads are striking in dried arrangements.
The Blackberry Lily has a long history in Chinese medicine. It is a bitter, cooling herb that supports the lungs and liver, and is used to lower fevers and reduce inflammation.
Growth Habit: Upright growth to 4 feet, with wiry stems; 10” long leaves; and sprays of six petalled fan shaped flowers. Seed pods split open to reveal seed clusters that resemble blackberries. It is a self-seeding perennial that flowers two years after germination. It also spreads by rhizomes.
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil Preference: Average, well drained soil
When to Plant: Sow seeds indoors in Winter OR direct seed outdoors in Spring or Fall
Stratification: Cold stratification will significantly improve germination. Chill seeds for 4-8 weeks at 2-4°C before sowing. 50-70% germination.
How to Plant:
Direct sow: Sow seeds ¼” deep in soil. Thin young plants 1-2 feet apart.
Transplant: Sow seeds ¼” deep in soil. Keep the seedbed moist. Seeds will germinate in 60-100 days. Transplant seedlings to individual 3” pots 6 weeks before planting out. Transplant young seedlings outside and space 1 foot apart.
When / How to Harvest: Harvest Flowers when they open in Summer; harvest seeds when pods begin to split and seeds turn black, in later Summer to early Fall, and hang indoors to dry.
Uses: The flowers and seed pods of Blackberry Lily are stunning cut for arrangements - fresh or dried. Has many uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine.