The Urban Gardener: The Blackberry Lily

Well, summer has just barely started and most of the flowers in the garden are ca’put.  Lots of the lilies shed their blooms this week with the harsh rain from last weekend.  The hostas and roses are blooming.  The hanging baskets still look nice.  We still have tiger lilies and just a few Asiatic lilies in bloom.  But that’s about it.  Pretty soon, the garden will just be a sea of green as it gets hotter.

However, there was one newcomer that just got planted this year which actually bloomed this week.  It’s called a blackberry lily and is a perennial.  We found it a few months ago at Thies Farm and actually thought it was an iris that had been mislabeled.  Its tall broad leaves look just like a traditional iris.  We even planted it right behind one of the Roanoke’s Choice irises and if you didn’t know, you’d never be able to tell the difference.

But it is thriving well there.  Its grown a lot and it now has two long stalks reaching for the skies with buds on them.  And one of them bloomed this week!  The bloom only lasted a day, but I was so happy to capture a photo of it.  I really thought the farm would be wrong and that it’d just be another iris, but I was the one who was wrong instead.

Though it might look giant in the photo, that’s just because I had to take the photo up close to get the detail of the flower in.  This flower is actually only about 3 inches across so it was quite tiny compared to the size of the greenery itself.  I’m sure it would have greater impact in the garden if there were more blooms on it all at once.

The identification card says its a late summer/early autumn bloomer though so we may see more from it later.  It also thrives in full sun and can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  It’s definitely holding its own next to the large bunches of Roanoke’s Choice.

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