We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Gardening

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Peacock Flower?

By Terrie Brockmann
Updated: May 16, 2024

The peacock flower is a member of the iris family, Iridaceae, but it is more exotic looking than the typical garden iris. Even when the plant is not blooming, the willowy, evergreen foliage has the architectural beauty of ornamental grass. The South African native usually grows in grasslands where moisture is seasonal, rather than recurrent, so gardeners may need to learn when and how to water it. Sometimes people call it other names, such as African or Spanish iris, bicolor iris, or evergreen iris, and there are other plants that growers call peacock flowers.

With so many different names, gardeners who want to add the peacock flower to their landscapes may need to know its botanical name. The peacock flower now belongs to the Dietes genus, but it used to be in the genus Moraea. Often nurseries list it under its old name, Moraea aristata, or the synonym Moraea glaucopis. Some nurseries mistakenly sell Dutch iris or other types of irises as the peacock flower.

Often it is listed as D. bicolor. There are other plants called the peacock flower, including Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Tigridia meleagris, and Delonix regia. Most well-informed growers buy the plants from knowledgeable or reliable nurseries.

Peacock flowers are usually white or pastel yellow and have a large, blue, or violet eye on each outer tepal. These tepals are the petal-like flower parts at the flower base. The flowers typically are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) across and produced in late spring on slender stems that are occasionally branched. Peacock flower plants may take two to three years or more before they produce flowers.

Typically, gardeners in climates similar to the USDA zones nine and ten plant peacock flower plants in rock gardens or as border plants. In climates where they are marginally hardy, growers plant them at the base of warm, sunny walls or in greenhouses. In the winter, growers generally do well by providing deep, dry mulch, but an unusually severe frost may kill the plants. They may rot if the winter is not dry enough because they are South African plants and accustomed to an extremely dry winter climate.

Generally, the plants are 10 to 14 inches (25 to 35 cm) tall, and some of the long, flat, narrowly linear leaves may grow to 18 inches (45 cm) long. Some gardeners have reported that, in ideal growing conditions, their plants reached heights of about 3 feet (1 m). The long, tough, leaves are basal, meaning that they grow only from the base of the plant. This perennial plant grows from rhizomes. Gardeners propagate the plant by sowing the seeds or by dividing the tufted offsets during the dormant season.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Share
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.