Common name: Late-flower Flax-lily
Dianella tarda P.F.Horsfall & G.W.Carr APNI*
Description: Robust, densely tufted, rhozomatous perennial herb to 2 m high; roots fleshy; stems to 20 mm long, 7–9 mm diam.
Leaves 35–160 cm long, blades 8–17 mm wide, moderately to stronglyV-shaped in cross-section, dark grey-green and subglaucous, margins smooth, midrib minutely scabrid near apex; leaf sheaths loose, U-shaped, not or only slightly occluded, slightly keeled or rounded abaxially.
Inflorescence to 2 m high, erect, narrow-obovate in outline; flowers in clusters of 2–18; pedicels 4–22 mm long, slender, strongly recurved so flowers nodding; perianth very pale blue; outer tepals narrow-elliptic, 7 mm long, 3 mm wide, 5-veined; inner tepals ovate-elliptic, 6.5 mm long, 2.5 mm wide, 3-veined. Stamens 7–9 mm long; strumae rich yellow; anthers pale lemon-yellow, 4 mm long.
Fruit china blue or rarely white, irregularly globose, 3–10 mm long, 3–9 mm diam; seeds smooth, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 1.75–2 mm wide, black, very shiny.
Distribution and occurrence: Western Slopes; also Victoria and South Australia.
On clayey or loam soils, mostly on old floodplains, often in Eucalyptus camaldulensis riverine forest or woodland. Flowers are strongly fragrant (Dianthus-like).
NSW subdivisions: NWS, CWS, ?SWS, ?SWP
Other Australian states: Vic. S.A.
Previously confused with D. longifolia. Opens later in the day (early to mid afternoon) than most other species.
Text by KL Wilson (June 2009; edited Aug 2013)
Taxon concept: GW Carr and PF Horsfall (1995) Muelleria 8(3): 372-375
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.