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PlantFiles: Peacock Flower, Bicolor Iris, Evergreen Iris, Spanish Iris, African Iris
Dietes bicolor

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Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dietes (dy-AY-teez) (Info)
Species: bicolor (BY-kul-ur) (Info)

Synonym:Moraea bicolor

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Category:
Perennials

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Evergreen

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Dietes bicolor by Floridian

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #2 of Dietes bicolor by Ulrich

By jamieau
Thumbnail #3 of Dietes bicolor by jamieau

By OlgaN
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By cici77
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By htop
Thumbnail #6 of Dietes bicolor by htop

By htop
Thumbnail #7 of Dietes bicolor by htop

There are a total of 23 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

11 positives
5 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive fluffyone On May 24, 2013, fluffyone from Edmonton
Canada wrote:

I just recently move to a new home and am finding it exciting to find such a wonderful site for information

Positive HillCntryGrdnr On Apr 7, 2012, HillCntryGrdnr from Spring Branch, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have 9 bi-color iris in the ground 5+ years. Very tough yet reliable plant, no fussing, water once a week on drip during our severe drought the last two summers. Not bothered by cold. Survived with a shrug two winters ago when it never got above freezing for 3 days.

Mine grew into large clumps so I unceremoniously cut them in half with a shovel and transplanted the other half. All survived fine and recovered nicely in one season.

One person wondered what part shade means in southern Arizona. I lived in Las Vegas for 30 years and my sister lives in Tucson so am familiar with desert gardening challenges. Part sun/shade in So. Az means:
(a) under a shade tree such as Desert Museum Palo Verde that allows dappled sunlight
(b) morning sun, afternoon shade (east side of house)
(c) avoid planting in open (like you would a Bougainvilla). The So. Az sun is a killer and only the strongest survive.
(d) weekly watering on a 4gallon drip for 30 min should be fine. The difference between the same plant surviving in the hot south Texas summers and dying in So. Az is our humidity.

Finally, don't know if an issue in Sahuarita, but deer have never even nibbled on mine and we are in one of the worst deer over-populated areas in the country. Good luck with them.

Neutral Thomboy70 On Jan 31, 2012, Thomboy70 from East Sahuarita, AZ wrote:

I live south of Tucson, and purchased a Dietes Bicolor, but the plant tag says it needs 4-6 hours of sun a day.

Some other sites even said, "doppled shade."

The worst part of all the different gardening websites is a lack of knowledge about hot Arizona, so what does part sun mean? Is no sun in the winter OK, with part shade occurring in the summer when the sun is directly overhead?

If the bicolor is planted in the open, in direct sunlight, won't the summer sun fry this iris? If so, should it be placed on the east side of a west facing home, so it only gets morning sun? I would love to put it next to my pond, but in the summer, the pond is dry, and we are in Seattle.

Any advice on this iris would be much appreciated from an Arizona grower, or gardener

Neutral BellaMB88 On Jun 4, 2011, BellaMB88 from Camarillo, CA wrote:

These plants grow like weeds in Camarillo, California. They are tough and dependable bloomers, but self sow everywhere! Often by the time I see their stiff strap like leaves coming through the daylilies or agapanthes they are well rooted and quite a chore to dig out.

Positive ooodaddyo1 On Apr 27, 2009, ooodaddyo1 from Lake Worth, FL wrote:

I planted several of these many years back. They just keep on growing and spreading. They didn't flower at first and I was disappointed, but when they started to flower, I was amazed! The flowers are at the end of a long stem and they dance in even the lightest breeze. I have some blooming in partial shade and several blooming in full sun. They are exactly the same plant and they have all adapted beautifully to their separate environments. They have experienced overwatering and underwatering, fertilizer and the lack thereof, and sometimes the unwelcome attention of my dogs, and they keep on thriving. I've got seed pods now and I am so excited. Even without flowers, these are willowy and delicately shaped, but extremely hearty. I highly recommend them. Just love them and they will return the love!

Positive htop On Apr 7, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My Dietes bicolor plants took several years to bloom after I planted them. This year they started to bloom in the middle of February which is quite early for them to bloom. Last year, they bloomed all summer and had some blooms into the fall. I seldom water them and have never fertilized them directly. They have received fertilizer from a hanging basket above them that I add blood meal to each year before I plant pansies in it. If the plants never bloomed, I would still love them because of their lovely evergreen foliage. The only problem I find is that I have to remove fallen oak leaves from between the blades each year because I am afraid that they will cause the plants to rot. Dietes bicolor is one of my care free plants that provides beauty year round.

Positive stephanotis On Mar 31, 2008, stephanotis from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

The guy who did our landscaping planted several clumps of these, but said they were bearded iris. They didn't do anything for a couple years except expand. When they bloomed I was very pleasantly surprised to see this type of iris, one I had admired for a long time but didn't know what it was. The only unfortunate thing is that when I needed to divide a huge clump, it took a very long time for the main clump to bounce back from the stress. When I say a long time, I mean a couple of years. Also, the divisions I put into containers all died. I think I may have overwatered them. I like these evergreen iris because the foliage is very architectural, and when it isn't blooming looks like a very nice ornamental grass. The flowers are a nice bonus, though the blooming period doesn't seem to be very long here in the SW.

Negative mwperry On Mar 6, 2008, mwperry from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

Brandon, MS Zone 8(a)

I have had African Iris (Dietes vegeta) going on 3 years. It has never bloomed. Someone close to my zone told me that it takes 2-3 years for it to bloom. If that is true, mine should bloom this spring.

Neutral rntx22 On Feb 20, 2008, rntx22 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I see these everywhere, so I know they grow here, but I am on my second plant and just can't get this one to survive. The leaves have looked saggy for a long time, and have lost their vibrant green color. Most have started to brown at the tips and eventually brown all the way to the base of the plant. It has never bloomed. I have moved it to part sun, full sun, shade, you name it. It has gone with a lot of watering, and it has gone with very little watering. I just can't get it right! I really wish it would bloom!

Neutral podster On Feb 4, 2008, podster from Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Joined DG just to see what a bloom on this plant looked like! In many years, it has never bloomed for me. I have had it in ground and in a pot. The plant has multiplied but not excessively. A true disappointment here...

Positive michaeladenner On May 25, 2006, michaeladenner from Deland, FL wrote:

I grow two species: D. bicolor and the more common D. vegata (syn. iridioides). Of the two, the iridioides is a far superior plant: D. bicolor has finer blades and flowers much less frequently, often taking two years to produce their first flowers here in Central Florida. That said, the blooms are a striking saffron yellow. D. bicolor is a tough, attractive plant that has no apparent proclivities towards disease or insect damage. My friend who lives in a cool microclimate here reports that this year, when it got down into the mid-20s, hers died to the ground. In seven years of growing these, I've never had mine even browned by frost.

Positive GFT On Aug 19, 2005, GFT from Biloxi, MS wrote:

Traditional Dutch and Bearded Irises do not grow well on the gulf coast; African Iris, although at best a very distant cousin in appearance, will--and quite well.

The leaves are bladed but darker green, thinner, taller, and much more flexible than traditional Iris. They are neither ornamental nor unattractive; non-descript would be a better term. The flowers, however, are very nice and do indeed look something like a miniture iris with white petals and dark markings.

I understand that they tolerate full sun, but mine are planted in light shade and they do very well in that location. They are very low maintenance--I typically water them in the process of watering the lawn, but nothing more. I also find that the use of a bloom-promoting fertilizer will cause the number of blooms to explode!

Positive Jamespayne On Mar 27, 2005, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I bought 4 of these African Iris that were marked Dietes vegata, but turned out to be Dietes bicolor. They are low in water requirements, and with the 3 hurricane's in 2004, I lost 2 from all of the rain bringing on "root-rot". The two that did survive are doing well and blooming in full sun! Very good plants for sandy well drained soils.

Positive poozak On May 13, 2004, poozak from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

In our south Texas heat, this one survived neglect (no water/feeding/weeding) and no attention for six months in a deer infested location when we went West. I love it. Good survival skills. Snapshot to come. Poozak

Positive Monocromatico On Nov 11, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant has recently became very popular again. Since June Im seeing blooms everywhere, not only here in Rio, but in several places Ive been since then. Its a very atractive flower, specially if you see it closely (the light yellow doesnt appeal me from a long distance), because you can see the orange lines ans marks between the light yellow sepals and the black spots. The floral morfology is pretty didactic too. Now most of them are bearing capsules... time to harvest them and pray to have enough room to plant them.

Neutral dogbane On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This seems to be a very popular plant here in the lower South. The new growth in Spring and the blooms are nice, but I've never seen one here that by August didn't have scale all over its leaves. Apparently the plant can tolerate this, but it is very unsightly.

Positive shoshy2 On May 18, 2002, shoshy2 wrote:

This plant does very well in Arizona heat. It has the sweetest flowers. Stays green all year. Very low maintance plant.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Anniston, Alabama
Oracle, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Arroyo Grande, California
Camarillo, California
Chico, California
Monrovia, California
Paradise, California
Redlands, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
San Jose, California
Wildomar, California
Auburndale, Florida
Bokeelia, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)
Cantonment, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Eustis, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Mascotte, Florida
Miami, Florida (3 reports)
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Sebring, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Broxton, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Thomasville, Georgia
Kealakekua, Hawaii
Abita Springs, Louisiana
Belle Rose, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Zwolle, Louisiana
Biloxi, Mississippi
Lees Summit, Missouri
Fair Play, South Carolina
Johns Island, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Austin, Texas (7 reports)
Corpus Christi, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Katy, Texas
Kempner, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Laredo, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
Quitman, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Seguin, Texas
Spring, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas (2 reports)
Sugar Land, Texas



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