Smooth Flax-lily

Description

Common names

Smooth Flax-lily, Pale Flax-lily, Smooth-leaved Flax-lily, Greater Blueberry lily, Blueberry Lily, Blue Flax-lily, Smooth Flax-lily., Dianella Longifolia, Flax Lily, Flax-lily.

Scientific names

Dianella longifolia, Dianella laevis.

Family

Phormiaceae.

Genus

Dianella.

Presence in Australia

Noted in most areas of region.

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

Habitat

Sclerophyll forest.

Habit

Tufted perennial herb with fleshy-fibrous or tuberous roots. Strap-like leaves to 80cm long and inflorescence beyond foliage up to 1.5m high. Globular pale blue berries.

Site preference

Prefers protected position in moist, well-drained soil and semi-shade. Tolerates frost. Resents extended wet periods.

Characteristics

Hardy. Long-lived once established. Susceptible to heavy grazing.

Flowering

Pale blue flowers with orange or yellow anthers, Sep-Feb.

Seed collection

Late Dec to mid Jan when ripe berries pale blue. Seeds remain viable for 6-12 months.

Propagation

From seed (preferably fresh); by division (which is easy), or from aerial growths. Remove fleshy fruit from seeds before sowing by soaking in sugary solution.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Seed-eating birds attracted to berries.

Koori

Tough leaves yield silky fibre which Kooris used for baskets and cord.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental for rockeries, groundcover, mingling with small shrubs, containers and under trees.

Other

Edible fruit tasty.