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Re: blackberry Lily-lilly or iris?? Thornbird

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: blackberry Lily-lilly or iris?? Thornbird
  • From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 06:57:36 -0600 (MDT)

The blackberry lily is in the genus Belamcanda, which is placed in the
family Iridaceae, the same family as the genus Iris.  It has little to do
with either lillies or blackberries, and is not related to Iris
pseudacorus.  The flowers are not particularly lily-like.  When the seed
pods are ripe, they open wide to reveal a blackberry-like cluster of black

The orange-flowered Belamcanda chinensis has escaped gardens and is widely
naturalized in the SE United States.  A scarcer species, B. flabellata, has
clear yellow flowers, stockier plants, and is a better garden subject.

Pardanthopsis dichotoma, the Vesper "Iris", used to be classified as an
Iris, but was removed to its present genus.  It cannot be crossed with any
species of Iris, but does hybridize with Belamcanda, producing the
so-called 'Candy Lillies' (xPardancanda norrisi).

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

"Ruth Adams Club Goes Vertical"
--picture caption in the May 12, 1986, edition of the Farmville Herald.
The photo shows four elderly ladies standing behind a flower arrangement.
They look very grim.

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