Candy Lily is the common name of Iris ×norrisii, which is a hybrid between the Vesper Iris (I. dichotoma) and the Blackberry Lily (I. domestica). Not only do the flowers of Candy Lily display an astonishing range of colors, but also, interestingly, after the blossoms wither, its petals twist themselves into tight little spirals that add fun and a beauty of their own, extending the ornamental display in the garden. Its common name, Candy Lily, comes from the resemblance of these spirals to a candy cane. It flowers in long midsummer days when no other irises are in bloom, and produces more buds per plant than any other species. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of drought and barren conditions (Xu et al., 2017; Zheng et al., 2017). Because of these characteristics, it is widely grown in horticulture (Whitehouse, 2011) and has become more and more attractive as a new floricultural crop since it was first raised by Samuel Norris in 1967 (Bi et al., 2012; Lenz, 1972; Xu et al., 2017). There are 60 Candy Lily cultivars registered in The American Iris Society (2020). ‘Cao Mei Tang’ is a Candy Lily cultivar developed by Shenyang Agricultural University in China to provide an attractive, summer-blooming pink iris for the dry and barren conditions in this hardiness zone.
Bi X.Y., Li H., Luo Q. & Zheng Y. 2012 Studies on inter-generic compatibility of Iris dichotoma and Belamcanda chinensis and their hybrids identification Acta Hort. Sin. 39 5 1395 1396
Lenz L.W. 1972 An intergeneric hybrid between Belamcanda chinensis and Pardanthopsis dichotoma (= Iris dichotoma) J. Systematic Evol. Bot. 7 4 1395 1396
Royal Horticultural Society 2007 Royal Horticultural Society color chart. Royal Horticultural Society London, UK
The American Iris Society 2020 Iris register database. <http://emembers.irises.org/irisregister/checksrch.cgi>.
William S. 1998 The gardener’s iris book. Taunton Press, Newtown, CT
Zheng Y., Meng T.F., Bi X.Y. & Lei J.J. 2017 Investigation and evaluation of wild Iris resources in Liaoning Province, China Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 64 5 1395 1396