Dietes grandiflora N.E.Br., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 48: 35 1928. ;
Common name: Wild Iris, Fairy Iris, Butterfly Iris

Dietes grandiflora (large wild iris, fairy iris) is a rhozomatous perennial plant with long, rigid, sword-like green leaves belonging to the Iridaceae family. This species is common in horticulture in its native South Africa, where it is often used in public gardens, beautification of commercial premises and along roadsides.

The blooms are white marked with yellow and violet. Dark markings are found at the base of the outer tepals. These are borne in abundance during summer, especially after rain. Flowers are followed by 5 cm long green capsules that contain very dark brown seeds, these are dispersed when the capsule splits open.
Plants prefer dappled shade to full sun where they will flower in profusion, though they will grow in shaded areas (with an accompanying loss of flower production). Under favourable conditions, the clumps multiply rapidly. Dietes grandiflora are drought and frost hardy, making them popular for en masse plantings.
(From Wikipedia on 3.12.14)


Dietes Species For Validation : California : 24NOV14 : AK-59 : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)
Flowers seen In Los Angeles and Sacramento, in the first week of Oct.
Is this Dietes iridioides or Dietes grandiflora?
Kindly validate between the two Species.

shows type difference

The only difference I could detect in so many years is the flower size: less than 6 cm in D. iridioides, 8-10 cm across in D. grandiflora.

Thank for your feedback.
I did see that picture on the link sent by … I found another…..
As far as I can remember, all the flowers were bigger in size.
Should I take them all as D. grandiflora?

Yes …



Another Dietes from California: Dietes iridioides:
Another species of Dietes, D. iridioides (L.) Sweet (syn: D. vegeta (L.) N E Br.), commonly grown in California. Hope we find this one also in India.
Common English names: African iris, Cape iris, Fortnight lily, Morea iris, Wild iris  

– These flowers just look awesome. I also happened to see them in many household gardens in bay area in Aug 2010


Iris for Common & Botanical ID:  I do not know if this has another common name.
Would appreciate Bot  ID too. Pics taken March – April 2011 in Los Altos, California.

Dietes iridioides

African Iris, Morea Iris, Fortnight Lily.
Yes it is very commonly observed in Bay area. I too saw many plants flowering profusely in residential as well office gardens in Jun 2011. It seems that the flowering season is also quite long as you have spotted this
in April. ? may even be perennial.
Another Iris is also observed in in California. I am sure you must have captured that also.
Will post it separately.

Yes .. Very common in California. When I first saw I thought it to be some species of Iris, till I identified it correctly as Dietes iridioides.

not an iris, used to be classified as lily…  now though I do not know grows profusely and as volunteer even in sandy coral based soil of florida….
had many growing on their own  without my planting them

I didn’t understand your comments: When I first saw I thought it to be some species of Iris, till I identified it correctly as Dietes iridioides.

Do you mean to say that the genus is different than Iris?
I always thought that the members of Iridaceae family are called as Iris as common plant name. The above plant does belong to Family : Iridaceae as per Wikipedia and GRIN.
Would like to learn something from you

Iris and Dietes are two different genera. In Iris the perianth are joined into a tube whereas they are free in Dietes and genus Morrea, in which, however rhizome is absent. All three belong to Iridaceae.

Wild Iris? – 010813 – RK : Attachments (2). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Pictures taken on 01/06/2013 at 7 pm in Los Altos, California. I had posted pics of the same plant in May 2011 & … had identified it as Dietis iridiodesIridaceae family.
Looked up flowersofindia for common name  – i got Dietis grandiflora – are both one & the same?

I feel it may be Dietes grandiflora (Cultivated) as per discussions in another thread: Dietes Species For Validation : California : 24NOV14 : AK-59 as well as per differences at

Dietes grandiflora from California-08102021-2: 3 images.
Dietes grandiflora N E Br.

Common name: Large wild Iris 
The two similar looking species of Dietes can be differentiated as under:
D. grandiflora: Plants up to 1.2 m tall, flowers 8-12 cm across, outer tepals with yellow markings, inner tepals with violet markings, style branches violet in colour.
D. iridioides: Plants up to 60 cm tall, flowers 5-8 cm across, outer tepals with yellow markings, inner tepals without markings, style branches pale violet.
Here is D. grandiflora photographed from Fremont, California.

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