Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata'
Common Name: flax lily 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asphodelaceae
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: February to April
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Colorful
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Prefers medium to dry, average, well-draining soils in part shade. Reliably hardy from Zones 9-11. Limited hardiness in Zone 8. May die back during the winter in colder parts of its range, but should grow back from the roots. In warmer climates it is evergreen. Easily divided by clump division. Tolerates some drought once established.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianella tasmanica, also known as Tasman flax lily or simply flax lily, is a sedge-like, rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial native to Tasmania and southeastern Australia. Its narrow, strap-like leaves can reach 3' long, and individual plants can reach 1.5-2' tall. They spread slowly by creeping rhizomes, and will fill a 3' area. The flowering stalks are held above the foliage and sport a panicle of small (1/2-3/4" in diameter) bluish flowers with prominent yellow stamens. The fruit matures into a small, glossy, steely blue berry.

Genus name comes from the diminutive of Diana, goddess of the chase.

The specific epithet tasmanica refers to Tasmania, part of this plant's native range.

The common name flax lily refers to the similarities between the simple, blue flowers of this plant to those of several species in the genus Linum, which includes flax.

'Variegata' is a popular cultivar noted for its white and green variegated foliage. Other characteristics match those of the species, except for fruiting, which is not as reliable in 'Variegata'.

Problems

No serious disease or pest problems. Powdery mildew and various leaf spot diseases have been reported, but are usually not fatal.

Uses

Use to add color in drier, shady areas. Grows well under trees or paired with other perennials in a mixed border. Can be used as a ground cover, but is slow-growing. Good for container plantings.