Dichopogon is a tuberous genus with species that occur in Australia and New Guinea. Some of the species have been included in Arthropodium and you still see them named as such in various data bases. When differentiated Dichopogon has bearded anthers and Arthropodium does not. Dichopogon was once included in Liliaceae, then in Anthericaceae, optionally in APG II in Agavaceae or Asparagaceae, and in the APG III classification system in Asparagaceae. Leaves are narrow, basal, and grass like and flowers are formed in loose racemes with 6 spreading segments. Anthers have beard-like appendages. Fruit is a capsule. Plants grow during late autumn to spring and die down over the summer. Some species are climbers. Propagation is mainly from seed. Transplanting of tubers is possible provided they are intact. The tubers are on the roots and at a distance from the rootstock.

Dichopogon capillipes (Endl.) Brittan is native to southwestern Western Australia. It is found in many different kinds of soil and habitats and blooms from spring to summer. Plants grow from 30 cm to 1 m and the flowers are purple-pink, nodding, with 2 to 6 flowers per bract.

Dichopogon fimbriatus (R.Br.) J.F.Macbr., syn. Arthropodium fimbriatum R.Br., is found in a number of Australia states (New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, and Victoria) where it grows in grassland, woodland, and forests. It usually grows in sandy soils in areas of moderatly low rainfall. Growing from .2 to 1 m high, the blue to violet flowers are nodding in fruit and usually unbranched. There are 2–6 flowers per bract. Known as the nodding chocolate lily, the flowers are vanilla or chocolate scented. Flowering time is from September to December. This species has fibrous roots ending in tubers. Photos from Dirk Wallace.

Dichopogon fimbriatus, Dirk WallaceDichopogon fimbriatus, Dirk Wallace

Dichopogon preissii (Endl.) Brittan is native to southwestern Western Australia where it grows in sandy soil in wheatbelt, sand plains, and forest. Plants grow to .5 m and the purple pink nodding flowers appear from August to October. Flowers face one side and there is only one flower per bract.

Dichopogon strictus (R.Br.) Baker, syn. Arthropodium strictum R.Br., is native to Australia and New Guinea and is known by the common names, Chocolate or Grass Lily. It is widespread, growing in grassland and open forest. Growing from .2 to 1 m, this species has flat grass-like leaves and an erect branched flowering stem with deep pink to mauve, occasionally white flowers, and purple anthers with yellow appendages. Flowers are solitary in a bract and vanilla to chocolate scented. Flowering time is September to December. This species has a brief dormancy late summer, early fall and needs well drained soil and moisture during its long growing period and light shade or morning sun and afternoon shade. It only takes 1-2 years to mature from seeds. It can be grown in a container or in a rock garden or under trees and may self seed. Tubers were roasted by Aborigines for eating. The first three photos by Mary Sue Ittner show the flowers and the last the very unusual roots (on a 1 cm. grid of squares) at the end of the growing season. The last two photos were taken by Dirk Wallace.

Dichopogon strictus, Mary Sue IttnerDichopogon strictus, Mary Sue IttnerDichopogon strictus, Mary Sue IttnerDichopogon strictus, Dirk WallaceDichopogon strictus, Dirk Wallace

The photos below were taken in the Grampians, Victoria by Mary Sue Ittner where they were growing in the rocks near a waterfall October 2007.

Dichopogon strictus, Grampians, Mary Sue IttnerDichopogon strictus, Grampians, Mary Sue IttnerDichopogon strictus, Grampians, Mary Sue Ittner

Dichopogon tyleri Brittan is native to Western Australia where it grows in a variety of soils. It grows to .6 m high and has purple flowers and anthers with four appendages.

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Page last modified on May 10, 2014, at 07:42 AM