“A flash of harmless lightning. A mist of rainbow dyes, the burnished sunbeam brightening from flower to flower he flies.”
John Banister Tabb
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.