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Dianella tasmanica facts for kids

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Dianella tasmanica
Dianella tasmanica57110.jpg
Dianella tasmanica (artist:W.H.Fitch)
Dianella tasmanica 01 Pengo.jpg
Scientific classification

Dianella tasmanica, commonly known as the Tasman Flax-lily or Tasmanian Flax-lily is a herbaceous strappy perennial herb of the family Asphodelaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, found in southeastern Australia including Tasmania. It has leaves to 80 cm, and a flower stem to 1.5 m. Blue flowers in spring and summer are followed by violet berries. It adapts readily to cultivation and is commonly seen in Australian gardens. Unlike other Dianella species, its fruit is toxic.

Taxonomy

Dianella tasmanica was first described in 1858 by eminent English botanist and explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker. The genus name is derived from the Roman goddess Diana, with a diminutive suffix -ella.

Description

Dianella tasmanica is a strappy herbaceous plant which grows to 0.5–2 metres (1–7 ft) high and wide, with a thick spreading rhizome under the ground. The green linear keeled leaves have finely toothed margins, and may reach 1 m (40 in) in length and 1.5–4 cm wide. The small (1.5 cm diameter) blue flowers bloom in spring and summer (August to February), and are followed by small roughly oval or globular violet berries which range from about 1.2 cm (0.5 in) in diameter.

Distribution and habitat

Found southwards from Dorrigo in New South Wales, and into Victoria and Tasmania, Dianella tasmanica grows singly or in clumps in shady spots in wet forests.

Cultivation

Dianella tasmanica is a hardy plant which has been cultivated in gardens and as a pot plant for many years in Australia, preferring shade and regular moisture. It can also be grown as an indoor plant, in a brightly lit space. A form with variegated leaves known as "Rainbow" is in cultivation, as well as a compact form "Little Devil", and a salt-tolerant form with red-tinged leaves.

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