My neighbor, Barb, is a seed saver. She has container after container of seeds on a shelf in her basement. She saves seeds from Marigolds, Icelandic poppies, phlox, bachelor buttons, cosmos, and lots of other plants – mostly annuals, but some perennials—including this beautiful orange flower.
Neither of us had any idea what it was when she came over a few years ago and sprinkled the seeds over the tulips in the sunny boulevard garden. She described the then unknown flower as pretty orange flowers on long flat leaves. She was convinced they’d look fabulous with the Russian Sage I’d just planted. We planted the seeds and I waited!
I’d gotten the long, iris-like leaves for a couple years, but no blooms—not even a hint of a flower stem. When the leaves appeared earlier this year I wondered if this would be the year they would bloom. I confess that I had my doubts. But, bloom they did, and beautifully.
I was wandering through a local nursery last weekend (it was raining so I couldn’t work in the garden) and saw my “seed flower!” The tag said Leopard Lily! And, even though the name says lily, it’s in the iris family. I can’t decide what’s more thrilling – finally knowing the name of the flower or having it bloom and set seeds.