Dietes Bicolor (Fortnight Lily, Yellow Wild Iris)

Dietes Bicolor Seeds (Fortnight Lily, Yellow Wild Iris)


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Quick description:

This Iris is fast growing which makes it ideal for use in areas that need to be established rapidly.


Dietes bicolor, also named Fortnight Lily, Yellow Wild Iris and the African iris, is found naturally in the Bathurst region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. This Iris is fast growing which makes it ideal for use in areas that need to be established rapidly. The adult plant is approximately 1 meter wide and 1 meter tall. The flowers are about 2 inches in diameter, flat, light yellow with brown markings. Flowers appear on branched stalks. Each flower stalk carries a large supply of buds. The flowers only last for one day, but because so many buds are produced the plant is almost always in flower. In frost-free areas, plants bloom from Spring to Fall and intermittently throughout Winter. Remove seed pods as they begin to form to encourage additional bloom. Cut each flower stem to the ground after flowering is completed. Dietes bicolor forms clumps of erect sword-shaped evergreen leaves. The leaves are 2-4 feet tall and 1-2 cm wide, light green in colour and have a double central vein. They are arranged in flat fans similar to other members of the Iris family. The plant spreads by means of its modified stems, rhizomes, which are located below the soil surface. The fruit is a club-shaped capsule approximately 25 mm in diameter which partially splits to release the seeds. Hardiness zones 9-11, (-5°C/25°F, 4°C/40°F) in Winter. Rhizomes may be dug up before first Fall frost for overwinter storage in peat moss or vermiculite at 45°F or the container may be overwintered indoors. Although it occurs naturally near streams and in marshy places, it is also drought resistant and frost hardy. The plant is able to grow easily in very poor soil with little water, but prefer a moist and moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Best flowering occurs in full sun, but plants may appreciate some part light afternoon shade.
Label No
Common name Fortnight Lily
Family No
Genus No
Species Dietes bicolor
Cultivar No
Therapeutic uses No
Germination First, you can scarify the seeds to try to speed up germination. For faster germination, soak the seeds in slightly hot water for 24-48 hours, followed by 3 months cold stratification before sowing, 1/4 inch deep, in your soil. Keep damp soil, not soaking wet. Keep pot in warm situation 20°C/68°F. Germination usually takes several months. It can be more, depending on their degree of unbroken dormancy, don't give up.
Scarification / Stratification Seed coats may be so hard that they are impermeable to water. They need to be scratched or broken using a knife or sandpaper, in order to germinate. Chip the seeds with a sharp knife or make a few swipes with a sharp edged file or use sandpaper to allow moisture being more readily absorbed.

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