Featured Plant: Herbertia


Wildflower Center link: herbertia lahue

I honestly don’t really know how you’d get this plant. Buy it? Probably not. I’ve never seen it in a nursery. Collect seed somewhere? Maybe, but hard to spot since this short plant seems to like to mingle with tall grasses and the seed pods are a slender grass-like structure. Dig bulbs? Needle in a haystack.

But it’s a delightful one – a diminutive, delicate and exotic-looking member of the iris family. I am lucky to have it inhabiting part of my front yard. It grows in the shade of the Arizona ash amidst the St. Augustine grass, and I didn’t plant it intentionally. Nor do I think I imported this one unintentionally.

Today was the first day it bloomed, and 18 separate plants bloomed simultaneously for the first time this year. That’s the most I’ve seen flower at once in my yard, so I know it’s doing well. Tomorrow a different group of plants will bloom, each bloom lasting just one day. In about 3 weeks the plants will have a developed seed pod that will dry and turn brown. I intentionally avoid mowing that part of the yard until usually late May to give the seeds time to mature. Which might have something to do with their success.

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