Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Dianella species

Phormiaceae

Blue Flax Lilies

Description

There are 15 species of Dianella found across Australia. These hardy plants have blue berries containing shiny black seeds. The blue, purple or white star-shaped flowers have six yellow, thickened stamens. Flowers appear in spring through summer.

Where it is found

These plants are found in all States, in a variety of habitats from heath to open forests and woodlands. In New South Wales the lilies grown all along the coast and inland on the tablelands to the far south-western plains.

Uses

  • The attractive blue fruits and shiny black seeds of most Dianella species are eaten raw. They have a sweet flavour, which becomes nutty once the seed is chewed.
  • The roots of some of these lilies can be eaten after pounding and roasting.
  • A strong fibre for string was made from leaf fibres of some species (Maiden 1889).

Further information

Click here for further information on species of Dianella.

Dianella caerulea
The sweet blue fruits of the Blue Flax Lily (Dianella caerulea) are edible, as are its roots.

Dianella-species
Dianella caerulea: habit, flowers.