Libertia ixioides 'Goldfinger'

Common Name: libertia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Fruit: Showy


Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining, humusy loams in full sun. Add sand to increase soil drainage if necessary. Propagate through seed or division. Hardy in USDA Zones 8-11.

'Goldfinger' is hardy in Zones 7-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Libertia ixioides, commonly called New Zealand iris, is a rhizomatous, tufted, evergreen perennial endemic to coastal ridges, cliffs, gullies, and upland forests in New Zealand. Mature clumps will reach up to 3' tall and spread to fill a similar area through short, aboveground stolons. The narrow, lanceolate foliage is upright and rigid, reaching 1-2' tall and 0.25-0.5" wide. The leaves will turn shades of yellow-orange to brown in winter and when exposed to full sun. The 0.5-1" wide, white flowers are held in open, branched panicles that emerge from the foliage clumps in summer and typically reach around the same height as the leaves. Bright orange seeds are held in 0.5-1" long, oblong capsules that mature from green to yellow and finally black.

The genus name Libertia honors Marie-Anne Libert (1782-1865), Belgian botanist, mycologist, and plant pathologist.

The specific epithet ixioides means "resembling Ixia", a genus of cormous perennials native to South Africa that have similar foliage to this species.

The common name New Zealand iris refers to the native range of this species and the similar foliage of this species to those of irises.

'Goldfinger' is a compact section of New Zealand iris that features bright yellow foliage with contrasting, green, vertical stripes. Mature clumps will reach up to 2' tall with a similar spread. Loose planicles of 0.75" wide, white flowers bloom in summer. The flowers are followed by round, 0.5" wide capsules that mature from green to bright yellow in the fall. This plant is protected by patent number PP18228.


No major pest or disease problems of note.


Mass or specimen planting for mixed borders, rock gardens, and gravel gardens. Suitable for small spaces and container plantings.