Chocolate-lily

Description

Common names

Chocolate-lily, Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily., Nodding Chocolate Lily, Nodding Chocolate-lily.

Scientific names

Dichopogon strictus, Arthropodium strictum.

Family

Anthericaceae.

Genus

Dichopogon.

Growth height

Up to 1m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread through most areas in region.

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

Habitat

Forest, woodland and open country, on wide range of soils and aspects.

Habit

Upright herb to about 1m high with tuberous roots. Linear leaves. Dies down to tubers in summer and re-shoots in autumn.

Site preference

Prefers well-drained to seasonally inundated soils.

Characteristics

Long-lived.

Flowering

Chocolate-scented blue to violet, star-shaped flowers, Aug-Jan. Re-shoots Mar-May.

Seed collection

Dec-Jan. Monitor closely as ripe seeds shed very soon after maturity. Harvest stalks containing capsules by hand or secateurs, and place upside-down in large paper bags. Dry until capsules open fully. Thresh lightly to extract seed.

Propagation

By division of tubers, or from seed sown autumn. Seeds germinate readily after 2-3 month dormancy. Transplant and/or divide tubers, which may be some distance from rootstock.

Regeneration

Regenerates from seed.

Koori

Probably eaten by Kooris.

Ornamental

Excellent adaptable specimen for rockeries, among small shrubs or containers. Plant in groups for best effect. Apply small quantities of native plant fertiliser to encourage growth. Extend flowering by removing stems before seedheads form.

Other

Tubers can be eaten raw, or roasted throughout year.