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white butterfly iris | diplarrena moraea

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Posted by EDITOR 7 Dec 2010 - 3:05:00 PM

The South African one day iris is one of those plants that’s become so familiar it’s commonly known by its botanical name Dietes. Like camellia, clivia, and even the tongue-twisting chrysanthemum. So familiar with its prolific seeds popping up everywhere, and finding a place in so many McDonald’s car parks and municipal plantings.

Less well-known is the white butterfly iris – Diplarrena moraea. Not as big or robust as dietes but it is a pretty and refined local – from Tasmania, Victoria and just into NSW – that can do much the same things.

It can be massed in drifts, planted in lines as an informal hedge to divide areas, or used singly with its short rhizomes thickening into a clump of strappy foliage standing upright as an accent among other plants in a border. And it also has the delicate white iris flowers fluttering airily atop wiry stems, each short-lived but with others coming in successive waves.

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