Thelionema is a small genus of three species comprising tufted perennial herbs with long, narrow leaves and lily-type flowers. All species occur only in Australia and they were previously considered to belong to the genus Stypandra.
Thelionema caespitosum (formerly Stypandra caespitosum) is a perennial herb with linear leaves 30-90 cm long by 2-12 mm wide. The plants spread by underground rhizomes and can form dense clumps. Flowers occur on branched stems that extend above the leaves and are usually deep blue with yellow anthers although white forms are known. The flowers are star-like, about 25 mm in diameter and flowering is from spring to mid summer. Apparently hybridization with the other two species occurs.
This species has been in cultivation for many years and is hardy in a wide range of climates and reasonably well drained soils. It prefers a position in full sun or lightly shaded. If older, dead leaves look unattractive, these can be easily removed without harm to the plant.
Propagation from seed is unreliable and better results are obtained by division of the grassy clumps, usually after flowering.
Photo: Ivan Margitta