Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Dianella Tasmanica

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Dianella tasmanica Berries (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Dianella tasmanica Berries (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 9a – 11

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Sub Family: Hemerocallidoideae

Dianella tasmanica is an evergreen,  clump forming, herbaceous perennial. Its dark green  leaves are strap shaped, have denticulate margins, up to 80cm long and 5cm broad. Its blue flowers appear at the end of erect flower spikes and are up to 2cm across. These are followed by violet, globular, glossy berries which are up to 12mm across. Its roots are fleshy rhizomes.

Dianella tasmanica, commonly known as the Tasmanian Flax-Lily, is native to south east Australia, including Tasmania. In its native habitat it grows in wet forests in shady locations. The berries of this plant are not edible and will cause irritation to the digestive tract.

Dianella tasmanica (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Dianella tasmanica (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Dianella is derived from the Latin goddess Diana. Tasmanica is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from Tasmania’.

The landscape architect may find Dianella tasmanica useful as a tropical looking plant, particularly in shady locations. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Dianella tasmanica is of little value to UK wildlife.

Dianella tasmanica prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acidic pH of soil.

Dianella tasmanica requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in mid spring.

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