Growing Belamcanda Chinensis (Leopard Lily)

Leopard Lily (belamcandra)
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Belamcanda, (Blackberry Lily, Belamcanda chinensis Iris Domestica, Leopard Lily, Leopard Flower) is one of the plants the botanists have been renaming. The plant was previously named Pardancanda but is better known by its common names of Blackberry lily or even Leopard lily.

Given that only two species resemble Iris, this is a fine plant for the garden.

Understand, though, that this is a short-lived plant. And while it is lovely with its delicate flowers, it is only expected to last 3-5 years before it dies. You’ll have to learn to propagate it or continue purchasing the plant.

Belamcanda chinensis - common names anda, (Blackberry Lily, Belamcanda chinensis Iris Domestica, Leopard Lily, Leopard Flower)

How To Grow Belamcanda

  • Grow this plant in the full sun or very light shade.
  • Grow in well-drained soil; it doesn’t appreciate wet feet or clay.
  • Feed moderately; a shovel of compost in the spring is adequate.

The picture is Belamcanda ‘Sangria.’

Protect over the winter if you live in a USDA 5 or colder. I’ve overwintered it quite successfully in a USDA 4 with no protection. (But it only lasted 3 years)

In short, treat it like a tender iris.

How to Propagate Leopard Lily

How To Grow Belamcanda, How to Propagate Leopard Lily or Blackberry lily
 Belamcanda chinensis

You can divide the Belamcanda plant in the early spring or fall to produce offsets. Get a bit of the root with each fan of leaves and division you take.

By seed. In the fall, the seed pods turn brown, split open, and there are shiny black seeds inside. Take these and treat them as for any perennial seed. They are relatively easy to start from seed, although they will take 2-3 years to flower from successful germination if grown properly.


Easy and delightful plant to grow, but do keep dividing it every two to three years to establish a clump of them. Otherwise, you’ll lose this short-lived plant from your garden.

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