BLACK-ANTHER FLAX LILY
(Photos: E. Cousins; growth habit; flowers and buds)
You can see from the pictures above why this plant is commonly called the black-anther flax lily: those pretty blue flowers have black stamens, with an orangey-yellow base to them. The plant grows about shin high, with very stiff, blue-green leaves which fold together at their base. You are most likely to see the flowers in spring and early summer. The wiry flower spikes sit above the leaves, to about knee high at Cape Jervis. There are several branches per spike, and several flowers per branch, with one flower on a branch opening per day. The six flower petals bend backwards, ‘reflexed’. After the flowers, you get pretty dark-blue seed pods. Adaptable to most soil types, the plants are also hardy, and can produce quite large clumps over a period of time, making them a very useful garden plant.