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Introducing . . .

Variegated Blueberry Flax Lily Can Perk Up a Gloomy Spot

July 01, 1999|ROBERT SMAUS

Nothing brightens a shady spot like variegated foliage, which in gardener's jargon usually means green leaves striped or blotched with cream or white. In gloomy parts of the garden, the creamy markings look like shafts of sunlight.

The variegated blueberry flax lily (there's a mouthful) is a new version of Dianella tasmanica, a lily relative valued for its turquoise berries in fall and winter, rather than its tiny pale blue flowers.

Grass-like, it grows in shady spots or some sun to about 4 feet tall, spreading by underground rhizomes. Every few years it should be dug and divided like an agapanthus.

The plant is originally from Tasmania and takes normal watering. Grown by Monrovia Nursery, it will be available at retail nurseries.

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