Dianella is a genus of about 35-45 species occurring in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands and Africa. About 25 species occur in Australia but there are also a number of unnamed species as well. The plants are perennial herbs, often in grass-like clumps or spreading colonies,
D.caerulea is usually a perennial with a clump-forming habit of growth and spreading by rhizomes. The strappy leaves are broadly linear in shape to about 0.75 m high. Up to 20 flowers occur on branched inflorescences that extend beyond the leaves. The flowers are light to deep blue, about 1 cm in diameter with yellow stamens and appear from early spring to mid summer. The flowers are followed by blue berries containing several black seeds.
D.caerulea is a variable species with nine varieties recognised in the Australian Plant Census.
Flax Lily is popular in cultivation as it is generally hardy in a range of climates and soils. It tolerates at least moderate frost and extended dry conditions. The plants prefer an open, sunny location.
Propagation can be carried out from seed which is best sown when reasonably fresh. No special pre-treatment is necessary. Plants can also be propagated by division of established clumps.
Photo: Brian Walters