Plants of the UNF Campus

Dietes vegetata - Blue African iris
Family Iridaceae


The genus Dietes has an odd distribution with five species in Africa and one on remote Lord Howe Island near Australia. This species is a iris-like herbaceous plant native to southern Africa. The white African iris has flowers that are white with blue centers. It is a drought-tolerant plant from southern Africa. Plants grow into tight clumps of grass-like leaves to about two feet tall. Foliage is evergreen. Flowers appear in early spring. 


See plants on the west side of the library and in front of the post office in building 6.


Herbaceous plant with leaves about twenty-four inches tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun to partial shade

Water: very drought tolerant when established

Soil: well-drained, adaptable to a wide range of soils

Jacksonville must be near the northern limit for this plant. Established plants in exposed locations were killed by temperatures in the high teens F. North of the St. Johns River, the yellow African iris (Dietes bicolor) is more reliable.