The Chocolate Lily
Arthropodium strictum, (syn. Dichopogon strictus) is commonly called the Chocolate Lily is found widely from Victoria to Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and also in southern areas of Western Australia
This is a plant that grows as an understory plant in open forest areas as well as in grasslands. It adapts well to garden use and will grow in a range of climates as its native range suggests.
The Chocolate Lily adapts well to growing in containers as well as grassy ground cover beneath trees and shrubs. Try planting it in pockets in a rock garden along with other Australian native plants such as scleranthus biflorus.
The flowers which appear in late winter to spring at a touch of colour to the garden and the tubers are edible.
How to Grow the Chocolate Lily
This is a tuberous perennial and prefers a deep rich soil. It will die back in summer and prefers a position with little protection from hot afternoon sun.
Prepare soil well by digging in good quality compost or leaf mould.
The best time to plat is in early spring or autumn.
Plant and water in.
Best grown in light dappled shade with good morning sun.
A humus rich and moist well drained soil is best fro good growth. A deep loamy soil is best. The Chocolate Lily will grow in poorer sandy soils however tuber growth will not be as strong.
- Growing in containers
Use a deep containers around 30cm deep to allow for good tuber growth.
The tubers like to grow at around 15 cm deep.
It is possible grow the Chocolate Lily from seed, or by division of mature clumps.
How and When to Harvest Chocolate Lily tubers.
- Wait until flowering time and then dig the whole clump with a garden fork.
- Snip the larger tubers off with kitchen scissors or garden snips.
- Replant the remaining clump and water in immediately.
- Wash tubers and they are best eaten when freshly dug as they are sweeter at this time.
Tubers can be eaten raw or roasted.
The flowers can be used in salads and it is the flowers that are said to have a chocolate taste.