White African Iris / Morea Lily
/ Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris
( Dietes Iridioides vegeta )
White African Iris / Morea Lily / Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris:
– These striking perennial plants are native to Africa and are considered to
be a ‘Florida Fiendly landscape selection.
– They are known here in North Florida as African Iris but are also referred
to as Morea Lily, Fortnight Lily, Butterfly Iris etc. Regardless of what name you choose to call them by, here
in North Florida we love them!
Dietes Iridioides Vegeta Preferred Exposure:
– African Iris can be planted in full sun to full shade in just about any type of garden you can think of, they really are not particular plants and have become a staple in the Northeast Florida landscape because of their easy care habit.
White African Iris / Morea Lily / Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris Foliage:
– Deep green sword-like foliage stands erect in large clumps and makes a
dramatic vertical statement in the garden or landscape.
Dietes Iridioides Vegeta Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– African Iris is tolerant of a wide range of soil components and growing
conditions. Although moderately drought tolerant once established in the landscape be sure to water regularly after planting to help get the plant established and growing on its own in the landscape.
– African Iris will tolerate wet soils for prolonged periods and can
be planted into areas where moderate flooding occurs after heavy rains.
– When planted in full sun in well drianed soils plants may need supplemental irrigation to perform at their best
– Poor salt tolerance.
White African Iris Size Variance:
– Foliage of the White African Iris can grow up to 4-5 ft High and 3-4 ft wide
although most often seen rowing at heights of 2-3 feet.
White African Iris / Morea Lily / Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris Growth
– Evergreen, clumping grass like clump forming perennial.
– Plants should be dug and divided every 2 – 5 years in early spring for
Dietes Iridioides Vegeta Growth Rate:
– African Iris is a moderate to fast growing perennial plant.
White African Iris / Morea Lily / Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris Bloom:
– Beautiful white blooms are reminiscent of an orchid flower and
have a yellow splotch towards the base of the petals with a purple center.
-The blooms are 3 inches across in diameter and plants put out blooms
continuously throughout the year, although strongest flowering will occur in spring and again in summer.
-Often called a Fortnight lily because they often blooms in bursts with a two
week cycle of down time that will occur in-between blooming.
– The flower stalks are perennial lasting more than one season, so don’t
trim them off until they have gone completely brown or have started to form the 2 inch elongated green seed
Dietes Iridioides Vegeta Water Requirements:
– African Iris plants although moderately drought tolerant once established in the landscape, will require regular water to get the plant rooted and growing on its own after being planted in the ground from an S & J nursery container. Use supplemental irrigation when planted in full sun or in extremely sandy soils for best flowering.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– White African Iris / Morea Lily / Fortnight Lily / Butterfly Iris blooms are not said to attract hummingbirds or butterfly’s to your garden.
Best Uses For African Iris Plants in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area Land cape:
– African Iris plants are at home in any garden from a strong Mediterranean garden theme to a cottage garden setting plants blend perfectly.
– African Iris make excellent potted plants and their strongly
erect foliage adds a dramatic flare to any garden setting. I love to see them near patios, pools or walkways where the gorgeous blossoms can be appreciated up close.
– Perfect in masses under larger trees or landscape specimen plant you want to draw attention to. Massed plantings of African Iris will instantly turn a drab tucked away corner of the yard into a landscape showpiece.
– Low maintenance landscape selection.
– Fire resistant
Care of African Iris plants:
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from an S & J Nursery container.
– When planted in full sun or well drained sandy soils, supplemental
irrigation is preferred for maximum flowering.
– As with all perennial plantings, amending the soil with compost when planting your African Iris plants will help keep them healthy and happy through the years.
– Plants should be dug and divided every 2-5 years in the early spring.
– Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of MilorganiteS or Green Edge Fertilizer and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food or 10-10-10.