Libertia is a genus of about 12 species, two of which occur in Australia. They are perennial herbs with grass-like leaves arising from an underground rhizome.
Libertia paniculata has flat, linear leaves 20-60 cm long arising from a much-branched rhizome. The flowers occur on branched stems which are shorter than the leaves, each stem bearing up to 6 flowers. Flowers are white, about 15 mm in diameter and usually occur in spring and early summer. The flowers have prominent, exerted stamens.
Libertias are not often seen in cultivation despite their obvious beauty. L.paniculata is reported to adapt well to gardens in moist, well drained soils in a protected position which is not in dense shade. The species was introduced into cultivation in England in the early 1800s.
Propagation is relatively easy from seed which does not require any special pre-treatment but which may be slow to germinate. Propagation by division of the rhizome is also reported to be successful.
Photo: Jill Dark