Blue Flax Lilly (Dianella caerulea)

Latin Name: Dianella caerulea

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae


Description: A plant which keeps growing from year to year. It forms mats. It grows to 0.5 m high and spreads to 0.3 m across. The stem is erect. The leaves are long and strap like. The clasp the stem at the base. They can be 75 cm long with rough edges. The flowers are blue in loose clusters at the ends of branches. The flowers are star shaped. The fruit are shiny blue berries. They are 7-12 mm long.

Notes: It adapts readily to cultivation and is commonly seen in Australian gardens and amenities plantings.


Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is up to 1.5cm in diameter. Roots – The length of rhizomes are pounded and roasted.

Dianella caerulea

Warnings: Please make sure you are looking at the right plant as some Dianella ( like D. tasmanica) are reputed toxic.

Medicinal Uses: None Known

Other Uses: Basketry; Fibre.

Other Information: A very strong silky fibre is obtained from the leaves. The leaves are also used in making baskets.

14 thoughts on “Blue Flax Lilly (Dianella caerulea)

    1. Tanya

      Apparently from what I’ve read here and in other places, the berries are eatable both raw or cooked. I think I recently got some of this myself so plan to once it gets berries on it to try them.

        1. admin Post author

          The berries in Dianella carulea are edible. You are confusing with other Dianella, like D.tasmanica, wich is poisonous.
          Thank you for your comment Taylor.

    2. Kait

      They are. I recently went on an Indigenous (in Wollombi, NSW) cultural excursion, the lovely lady who took us, showed us these berries and they are edible


    Berries are edible and tasty, in my opinion, for what that’s worth!
    They have a texture very similar to a lillypilly fruit, so kind of spongy and crunchy, if that makes sense.
    I can’t describe the flavour, its not like anything I’ve had before, but its fairly subtle.
    Birds love them so you have to get in quick to get some when they happen!
    They fruit best in years with more rain (like most things I guess)


    1. admin Post author

      I’ve never tried it.
      I tend not to uproot this pants as they are usually in bush regen sites or in protected areas.
      The berries I say are fair go.
      Thank you for your comment Tanya 🙂

  2. Peggy

    I’ve eaten the berries which are a bit underwhelming, but make up for it with that fantastic colour which looks great in a fruit salad. Does anyone know if the flowers are edible?

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Peggy, thank you for your comment. Like all wild things, some bushes taste better than other and yes Dianella carulea flowers are edible too but do not confuse with others in the genus.

  3. cheryl hawes

    How does one tell the difference between the poisonous and the edible one? They look the same in the photos. (I always lose my plant tags)

    1. admin Post author

      The only Dianella I can vouch for is Dianella carulea, commonly found and planted in Sydney. As far as I can research only Dianella tasmanica and D. intermedia are toxic although evidence is limited to a few circumstantial cases and no clear exposure and effect has been seen.
      Dianella tasmanica native range is Tasmania, the leaves are substantially bigger than D. carulea, with bigger berries and sharp spikes at the back of the leaves (common of all Dianella but noticeably sharper in D. Tasmanica).
      Do not eat anything unless you are 100% confident of identification.

  4. Hanna

    Wonderful to have found this site and to have the comments. I would love a better description of the fruite texture for better identification. I don’t know if the one on our land is edible – it is definantly not crunchy, instead soft and full of juice. Are there any better descriptions for identifying the different verieties?


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