Another frost this morning!
Back to the tufted plants. I have been trying for ages to germinate seed of Patersonia umbrosa variety xanthina (used to be called Patersonia xanthina). The Patersonias are commonly called ‘Native Iris’. It is a native ‘iris’ purely because it has a form similar to iris. In reality the flower is nothing like it especially the latest very large flag irises being devoloped these days.
Patersonia umbrosa has violet flowers, however the variety xanthina is yellow! I would love to be the one to produce some from seed. It has the reputation of being difficult. To have a few yellow ones growing amongst the purple would be very special. This plant comes from Western Australia.
Patersonia occidentalis comes from South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australis. This has the typical violet coloured flowers. There is also a white form of Patersonia occidentalis which would also look wonderful dotted amongst the violet.
The flowering stem has numerous buds along it much like a gladiolus and each flower opens in succession along the stem. Unlike gladiolus, each flower finishes as the next opens. A patch of these plants, rather than plants in isolation, looks wonderful.
I love the tufted type plants. Dianella revoluta grows naturally on our block. There are several patches which grow at the base of the mallee trees. Their purple-blue flowers with yellow anthers are gorgeous on tall stems above the foliage, against the green of the mallee. Dianella revoluta variety brevicaulis is as pretty but with masses of flowers on stems shorter that the leaves.
The varieties at the Chelsea Flower Show in England (see my previous post) are new releases in Australia. Their common feature is the fact that they have shorter leaves and have a blue-ish colour in the foliage.
Other Dianellas which I enjoy are Dianella tasmannica and Dianella longifolia. Dianella tasmannica has large purple berries, much loved by birds. There is a variegated version of this which is attractive if you like variegated plants. These all have flax-like leaves. They are hardy plants which look good planted in groups, near water features or in rockeries. The leaves can be used in basket weaving.
These are all tough, hardy plants which are frost and drought resistant.