Spreading Flax-lily

Description

Common names

Spreading Flax-lily, Murmbal (Koori name), Black-anther Flax-lily, Blueberry Lily, Blue Flax-lily, Spreading Flax-lily., Eastern Flax-lily, Flax Lily, Slender Flax-lily, Snow-gum Flax-lily.

Scientific names

Dianella revoluta.

Family

Phormiaceae.

Genus

Dianella.

Growth height

Up to 1m.

Presence in Australia

In most areas of region. Less common in higher rainfall areas.

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

Habitat

Sclerophyll forest, woodland and mallee.

Habit

Tufted perennial herb to 1m high, forming mats with fibrous roots. Strap-like leaves to 85cm long.

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

Dark blue or violet flowers with black anthers, chiefly Sep-Feb.

Seed collection

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

Propagation

From fresh seed; by division (which is easy), or from aerial growths. Hasten germination by removing fleshy fruit from seed and ferment 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.