Scientific: Dietes vegeta (formerly Moraea iridioides)
Common: African day lily, fort night lily, African iris
Family: Iridaceae
Origin: South Africa

Pronounciation: Di-ET-ees ve-GE-ta

Hardiness zones
8-9, 12-24
USDA 8 with protection, 9-11

Landscape Use: Accent, poolside, water features rock garden, border plantings.

Form & Character: Upright, open, oriental, coarsely grass like.

Growth Habit: Evergreen herbaceous perennial, basally clumping via short rhizomes, 3 feet tall with equal to greater spread.

Foliage/Texture: Narrow medium green to gray green strap like leaves to 3 feet long arising from base in fan-like pattern; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers are 3 inches wide waxy white flowers with orange and brown spots and purple stippling. Flowers open for only one day. Flower stalks produce many flowers over time. Fruit a green pod, non-ornamental.

Seasonal Color: Spring to early summer flowering.

Temperature: Tolerant up to 105oF, experiences heat stress in Phoenix summer if given full exposure. Optimal temperature range for growth is 40o to 90oF.

Light: Full sun to partial shade; partial shade is best in lower desert landscapes.

Soil: Tolerant, but will develop chlorosis and leaf tip scald in chronically wet alkaline soils or if subjected to excessive chlorinated pool runoff.

Watering: Regular to some drought, especially in non-desert climates.

Pruning: Remove spent flower stalks. Break off seed pods to increase flowering.

Propagation: Division of large clumps or by seed.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: D. bicolor has yellow flowers with maroon blotches. Good pool plant if one can avoid excessive chlorine water overspill. I tend to think of this as a "California" plant that has been transplanted into Phoenix landscape plant palette.