Plant of the Month: Dietes
Botanic name:Dietes iridioides
Description:A clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial from South Africa. It has dark green, strappy foliage, which grows in fan-like rosettes. In spring it produces white, yellow and mauve, iris-like flowers on tall stems. The flowers are followed by 3-celled capsules containing numerous seeds.
Dietes, is a great plant for those of you who would rather have a nice cold drink on a hot day, rather than working in the garden. It is almost impossible to kill! The Dietes look best in mass plantings or as a foliage contrast plant. They are long flowering and very low maintenance.
Even though they are low maintenance, they can look a little scruffy if they are neglected. They grow well in full sun or part shade. They will continue to flower for several years, so make sure not to remove the flower stems.
Dietes Iridioides, as well as other Dietes varieties, such as Grandiflora and Bicolour are readily available at nurseries. They cost around $16 for an 8″ pot.