Common name: Blue Flax-lily
Dianella caerulea Sims APNI*
Description: Perennial herb tufted and solitary, or mat-forming; roots fibrous.
Leaves to 75 cm long; sheath conduplicate, a third to ± completely occluded; blade 3–25 mm wide.
Inflorescence exceeding foliage; cymules expanded to contracted, 3–25-flowered. Perianth whitish to dark blue or blue-green; outer tepals 7–11.5 mm long, 5–7-veined; inner tepals 6.3–10.5 mm long, 3–5-veined. Stamens with filament swellings 1–3 mm long, yellow; anthers yellow-brown.
Berry 7–12 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, NWS, CWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas.
Text by K. L. Wilson
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW vol 4 (1993); based on R. Henderson (1987), Flora of Australia vol. 45.
| ||Key to the varieties|| |
|1||Leaf sheath one- to two-thirds occluded distally, Y-shaped in cross section in that region||2|
|Leaf sheaths more than two-thirds occluded distally, ± biconvex in cross section in that region||3|
|2||Stems ± condensed, scales few proximally; no extravaginal shoots; perianth mid- to dark blue. Plant tufted, solitary, to 0.5 m high; stems short, leafy, touching or up to 60 cm apart. Cymules ± expanded, fewer than 10-flowered. Perianth mid- to dark blue||var. caerulea|
|Stems conspicuously elongated, scaly for most of their length; extravaginal shoots developing distally with age; perianth greenish white to bright blue. Plant tufted, solitary, to 1.3 m high; stems elongating, with scales for most of their length, touching or up to 10 cm apart. Cymules ± expanded, 3–6-flowered. Perianth greenish white to blue|
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|3||Leaves strongly glaucous; true stems <10 cm long; inflorescence narrow-cylindrical in outline, interrupted. Plant tufted, solitary to gregarious, to 0.8 m high; stems short, touching or up to 30 cm apart. Cymules contracted, few-flowered. Perianth creamy-green to pale blue||var. cinerascens|
|Leaves not glaucous; true stems to 1.8 m long; inflorescence from conical to narrow-cylindrical in outline, continuous or interrupted|
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|4||Stems scaly for most of their length; extravaginal shoots produced distally. Plant tufted, solitary, to 1.8 m high; stems elongating, with scales for most of their length. Cymules expanded or contracted, few-flowered. Perianth pale to mid-blue, often with green streaks externally||var. assera|
|Stems leafy for most of their length; no extravaginal shoots|
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|5||Leaf sheaths not minutely papillose or pubescent; plants forming mats to 2 m diam.; mature leaves subequal in size at several nodes near middle of stem; perianth dark bronze-green to blue-green. Plant mat-forming with mats to 2 m diam., to 1.3 m high; stems elongating, with a few scales below several subequal leaves. Cymules many-flowered, contracted. Perianth dark bronze-green to blue-green||var. petasmatodes|
|Leaf sheaths minutely but densely pubescent or papillose; plants forming tufts usually <0.5 m diam.; mature leaves increasing in size upwards; perianth pale to dark blue|
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|6||Aerial shoots adjacent or up to 30 cm apart, to 0.5 m tall. Plant tufted, solitary, to 0.5 m high; stems elongating somewhat, with scales then leaves increasing in size upwards, to 30 cm apart. Cymules ± expanded, 3–5-flowered. Perianth pale blue||var. protensa|
|Aerial shoots ± touching, to 1.3 m high. Plant tufted, solitary, to 1.3 m high; stems elongating, ± adjacent, with scale leaves then leaves increasing in size upwards. Cymules expanded to contracted, many-flowered. Perianth very pale to mid-blue|
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