Small Vanilla Lily

Description

Common names

Small Vanilla Lily, Small Vanilla-lily.

Scientific names

Arthropodium minus.

Family

Anthericaceae.

Genus

Arthropodium.

Growth height

Up to 0.3m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread through most areas in region.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA.

Habitat

Various habitats, including open grasslands and woodlands, in well-drained to seasonally inundated sites.

Habit

Slender upright perennial herb or lily to about 30cm high. Underground tubers. Nodding, rich-purple, sweetly scented flowers, Aug-Dec, opening in succession along stems.

Site preference

Prefers protected position in moist, well-drained soil and semi-shade. Tolerates drought, wet winter and dry summer soil. Resents permanently poor drainage.

Flowering

Forms tussock of blue-green grass-like leaves. Extend flowering by removing stems before seedheads form.

Seed collection

Late Nov to early Feb. Monitor closely as seeds released 3-14 days after maturity.

Propagation

From seed or division. Seeds germinate readily within 4-8 weeks after 2-3 month dormancy. Try germinating at cooler temperatures such as 16oC. Can be direct seeded into pots. Dies down to tubers in summer and re-shoots in autumn.

Regeneration

Seeds seem to be dispersed by ants locally, and by birds over longer distances.

Ornamental

Attractive for containers, rockeries, grasslands and under trees. Plant in groups for best effect. Apply small quantities of native plant fertiliser to encourage growth.

Other

Tubers can be eaten raw or roasted throughout year, and probably eaten by Kooris.