Belamcanda chinensis - (L.)DC.
Common Name Leopard Lily, Blackberry lily, Leopard Flower
Family Iridaceae
USDA hardiness 4-10
Known Hazards The plant is slightly toxic[147].
Habitats Shrubberies and banks at the edge of cultivation in rich damp soils in the Himalayas[51, 147].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: Orange, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Belamcanda chinensis Leopard Lily, Blackberry lily, Leopard Flower
Belamcanda chinensis Leopard Lily, Blackberry lily, Leopard Flower
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 1: 542.
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Belamcanda chinensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Iris chinensis. Ixia chinensis.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - cooked[105, 177]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Abortifacient;  Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  Antidote;  Antifungal;  Antiinflammatory;  Depurative;  Expectorant;  
Febrifuge;  Hepatic;  Pectoral;  Purgative;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The leopard lily has a very long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a bitter cooling herb that acts mainly on the lungs and the liver, lowering fevers and reducing inflammation[238]. It is effective against a number of bacterial, fungal and viral organisms[238] and has also been used as an antidote to snakebites[240]. The root contains several medically active constituents including flavonoids and isoflavonoids[279]. It also contains the glucosides belamcandin, tectoridin, shekanin and iridin[283]. It is analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, depurative, expectorant, febrifuge, pectoral, purgative, stomachic and tonic[46, 61, 147, 176, 178, 218, 238, 279, 283]. It is used in the treatment of acute laryngitis, acute tonsillitis, oedema of the glottis and cough with profuse sputum[176, 279]. The juice of the root is used in Nepal to treat liver complaints, where it has the added benefit of improving the appetite[272]. This juice is also used to abort a foetus during the first trimester of pregnancy[272]. The root should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. The root is harvested in the summer and autumn, and dried for later use[238].


Other Uses

The root contains tannin[272].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Woodland garden. Requires a fairly rich sandy or loamy soil in a bright sunny position or light shade. Succeeds in most soils[187]. Requires a position that stays moist in the summer[187]. Plants grow best in areas with long hot summers[238]. A fairly hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -15°c[187] if given a deep dry mulch over the winter. A short lived plant, the bulbs are usually lifted in the autumn and stored in a cool but frost-free place over the winter, replanting them in the spring[233]. They can be left in the ground in the milder areas of the country so long as the soil is well-drained[233]. Individual flowers only live for one day, but the plant produces a succession of blooms over a period of several weeks[238]. Slugs really love this plant and can destroy even quite large clumps as they come into growth in the spring[K]. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Pre-chill stored seed for 7 days and sow spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates in 2 - 8 weeks at 20°c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. They can be planted out in early autumn and should flower in the following year[200]. Division in spring or early autumn[200]. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Readers comment
   Fri Jan 18 2008
Hardy to zone 4... But with multch. Does fine in zone 5a
   Wed Mar 5 2008
hey nice article on blackberry lily and it help me on my school project!!!!!!!!!! thanks
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Subject : Belamcanda chinensis  

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