Belamcanda chinensis

The only plant in the genus and now it has been given the rather bland name of Iris domestica.
But we know it as the leopard lily, so much for botanists, as its also known as the 'blackberry lily' and its not a lily at all.

This is a pretty little flowering plant originally from Russia and China through to Japan, orange and yellow mottled flowers, followed by largish green seed pods full of black berries. Flowers appear above the olive green fan shaped foliage in summer to early autumn.

So the foliage looks like an iris, the flower like a lily amd the fruit like little blackberries in a bunch. The seed heads add a little interest to the garden over winter so many gardeners leave them. The only issue with this is that they do grow easily from seed, so can spread a little, it can become invasive in the rigth conditions.


A humus rich soil in part shade seems best, although morning sun and then afternoon shade is ideal. Propagation is from seed sown in autumn and left in the cold of winter, they should germinate in spring. In warmer climate stratification may be required. Or simply divide larger clumps.

Remove the seed heads to prevent self seeding.

Belamcanda chinensis are available for sale from the following nurseries

Bishops Hull Taunton TA4 1AE
Phone: 01823 286231 Fax:01823 323646

You may also be interested in