If you like phormiums but haven't got room for one, Dianella Little Devil might just be for you. It forms an evergreen clump of strappy greyish-green leaves with striking red new growth and in spring into summer bears masses of sky blue flowers followed by berries of as iridescent a blue as you can imagine. Give it a sheltered spot and it will give you much pleasure in return. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.
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Dianella Tasmanica is, as the name suggests, a plant native to Tasmania, along with other parts of south-east Australia, where its usual habitat is woodland. The Little Devil aspect of the name is a reference to the red colouration of the new growth which suffuses the lower parts of the foliage for most of the year, as well as the compact nature of the plant. Just for the sake of completeness, the genus name refers to Diana, the Roman goddess who is - see habitat above - associated with forests and woods. So it all fits neatly together.
Dianella is a plant with lots of attributes: the evergreen foliage is a pleasing year-round feature (in this case with the bonus of the fiery new growth), the blue flowers are an attractive addition in the summer, and, as for the shiny blue berries, well, they are something to behold over a long period into the autumn.
The fruits of Dianella Tasmanica are edible and are said to have a sweet flavour, rather like that of a grape. We haven't tried them so can't comment, but the Bush Tucker Survival Guide tells us that 'Aborigines used the tough leaves to weave dillies and baskets, and ate the small tasty berries in small amounts.' Don't overdo it, we guess.
Dianella Little Devil is a hardy evergreen perennial with upright strappy grey green leaves and sprays of blue flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.