do birds eat blackberry lily seeds

When my children were little, we would often sit quietly at dusk waiting to see if a hummingbird would alight on one of our flowers. If we were rewarded to see one hover nearby, our hearts would fill with wonder and joy. Many years later, I still count seeing a hummingbird as one of life’s greatest privileges. My garden is filled with brightly colored flowers known to attract these beautiful birds: columbines, foxgloves, daylilies, impatiens, petunias, phlox, coral bells, penstemmon to name a few. But my garden’s star attraction to hummingbirds is the little known perennial, blackberry lily(Iris domestica), which grows just outside my kitchen window. Also known as leopard flower, leopard lily or the fun “freckle face” for obvious reasons, this hardy perennial grows in zones 5-10.

There is so much to love about this flower. Its 6 sword-shaped leaves are bright cantaloupe orange speckled with darker orange freckles, a surefire attraction to hummingbirds. The large lime green seed pods emerge at the same time as the flowers in early summer and are fascinating to look at throughout the summer. The flowers bloom around the same time as daylilies in the garden and enjoy full sun/part shade in well drained soil. Mine are planted in a half whiskey barrel planter where they tower about 2 feet high. They make excellent cut flowers and their seed capsules are unique in flower arrangements. The plants are deer resistant and rebloom year to year.

By now you are wondering why is this plant called a blackberry lily! Well that is because the lime green seed pods dry up and reveal large clusters of shiny black seed clusters ressembling blackberries once the flowers are spent, in early fall.

The seeds can be harvested and stored in a moist environment for the winter. I bagged mine in a ziplock bag with a bit of moist sand and overwintered them in a crisper drawer of the refrigerator. They can be planted in early spring directly in the soil once the danger of frost has passed.

For more information, please visit Cornell University’s page on the blackberry lily, here. Or this excellent source:

“Like the hummingbird sipping nectar from every flower, I fly joyfullly through my days, seeing beauty in everything.” Amethyst Wyldfyre

Garden Plants With Seeds That Birds Love

In the fall, let’s take our time pruning down plants with fascinating seed heads. Here are 12 plants with excellent seed heads for birds. The birds love having a wide variety of seeds to choose from, and we love watching them feast!

Although bird feeders are a great idea, wild birds prefer to find their own “bird food” on the ground. “Plants bearing seed heads furnish nesting material in addition to sustenance.” Leave them standing through the winter!.

Florists and flower arrangers understand the importance of dried berries and seed pods for winter arrangements, but I choose to leave them standing rather than cutting them and bringing them inside, where they would only add to the mess and dust catchers. It provides me with a reason to stroll around the yard and observe their well-being.

You may be asking yourself, “Why is this plant called a blackberry lily?” Well, it’s because, once the flowers fade in early fall, the lime green seed pods dry up and reveal large clusters of shiny black seeds that resemble blackberries.

When my kids were small, we would frequently wait patiently for a hummingbird to land on one of our flowers at dusk. Our hearts would burst with wonder and delight if we were rewarded with seeing one hover close by. Even now, many years later, one of life’s greatest pleasures is still getting to see a hummingbird. Brightly colored flowers like columbines, foxgloves, daylilies, impatiens, petunias, phlox, coral bells, and penstemmon, to name a few, are abundant in my garden and are known to draw these lovely birds. However, the little-known perennial blackberry lily (Iris domestica) that grows right outside my kitchen window is the main draw for hummingbirds in my garden. This hardy perennial, which grows in zones 5–10, is also known as leopard flower, leopard lily, or the entertaining “freckle face” for obvious reasons.

As the hummingbird savors the nectar from each blossom, I soar through my days, appreciating beauty in everything. ” Amethyst Wyldfyre.

For the winter, the seeds can be collected and kept in a damp place. I overwintered mine in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer after bagging them in a ziplock bag with some wet sand. After the risk of frost has passed, they can be planted directly in the ground in the early spring.

There is so much to love about this flower. Hummingbirds are drawn to its six sword-shaped leaves, which are a vibrant cantaloupe orange with darker orange freckles. Early in the summer, the big lime green seed pods appear at the same time as the flowers and make for eye-catching visuals all summer long. The flowers like full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. They bloom around the same time as daylilies in the garden. Mine are situated in a half-barrel planter, rising to a height of roughly two feet. Their cut flowers are exceptional, and their seed capsules add a special touch to floral arrangements. The plants are deer resistant and rebloom year to year.


When should you plant blackberry lily seeds?

Sow the seed ¼” deep in warm soil (indoors in pots 6-8 weeks before planting outside or in the garden after the danger of frost has passed). Keep the seedbed evenly moist and germination should occur in 1-2 weeks. Seedlings are easily transplanted.

How do you harvest blackberry lily seeds?

When / How to Harvest: Harvest Flowers when they open in Summer; harvest seeds when pods begin to split and seeds turn black, in later Summer to early Fall, and hang indoors to dry. Uses: The flowers and seed pods of Blackberry Lily are stunning cut for arrangements – fresh or dried.

Do birds eat Agastache seeds?

Goldfinches and other birds may feed on the seeds. The flowers are attractive to many pollinators including bees (L), butterflies (C) and beetles (R). Anise hyssop combines well with many native perennials, such as bee balm.