TRITELEIA

FAMILY: Liliaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Corms
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Varies by Species
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Many are native to the West Coast, where they bloom in sunny fields and meadows in spring and early summer, but they also adapt to Midwestern prairies and the Texas Hill Country. Plants sport a few grasslike leaves topped by a cluster of funnel-shaped or tubular, 12- to 2-in.-long blossoms; they die to the ground after blooming. Great choice for rock gardens and dry meadows. Good cut flowers. Many Triteleia species were previously listed as Brodiaea.

T. hyacinthina (Brodiaea hyacinthina, B. lactea). WHITE TRITELEIA. Heirloom plant; introduced in 1835. Stems 12 ft. high bear clusters of 10 to 40 bowl-shaped, 12-in., purple-tinged white flowers with green veins.

T. ixioides (Brodiaea ixioides, B. lutea). PRETTY FACE, GOLDEN TRITELEIA. Flower stalk to 2 ft.; inch-long, golden yellow flowers with purple-black midrib and veins. 'Starlight' has soft yellow buds that open to creamy white, star-shaped flowers.

T. laxa (Brodiaea laxa). GRASS NUT, ITHURIEL'S SPEAR. Stalks to 2 ft. tall are topped with trumpet-shaped, 34- to 112-in.-long purple-blue flowers. 'Knigin Fabiola' ('Queen Fabiola') sports large, upward-facing dark blue flowers. 'Rudy' (T. 'Rudy') has white flowers with a bold violet stripe down the center of each petal. 'White Sweep' has pure white blooms.

These plants grow naturally in heavy adobe soil in areas that are rainy in winter and early spring, then dry the rest of the year. If you can't provide a long dry period, be sure to plant in sandy or gritty soil. Set corms 23 in. deep and 24 in. apart.

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