885 Aristea eckloniiCommon Names: blue flies, blue stars, blue eyed iris, blue corn-lily Family: Iridaceae (iris Family)
Aristea ecklonii is a spreading evergreen perennial with stiff, upright, grasslike leaves that grow 15-18 in (38.1-45.7 cm) tall in a tight clump. In spring or early summer, flowering stalks covered with dozens of small blue saucer shaped flowers stand above the leaves. Each flower lasts for only one day and is open only in bright light, but the whole inflorescence makes a spectacular display above the grassy foliage.
Aristea ecklonii is native to central and southern Africa.
CultureAristea ecklonii roots do not like to be disturbed, and plants may not bloom the first year after transplanting. Light: Does well in full sun or light shade. Moisture: Grow Aristea ecklonii in humus rich, well-drained soil, with plenty of moisture in summer. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11. Propagation: Propagate by seed which is produced in abundance. Division of the rooted clumps is sometimes successful.
Use Aristea ecklonii as a potted plant or outdoors in a mixed perennial border or bed. It looks good in a woodland edge, especially when planted in a large mass. Aristea ecklonii will thrive in the moist soils along a stream or garden pond.
Bright blue flowers and a nice compact clump of evergreen foliage make Aristea ecklonii a good choice for a ground cover or mass planting in a moist, partly shaded situation. Aristea ecklonii is similar to and closely related to the blue-eyed grasses (Sisyrinchium spp.), which are common North American wildflowers also in the iris family.
Dave Skinner 4/27/00; updated 1/21/04, 4/22/08