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Common Name: Wild Hyacinth
Dichelostemma pulchellum is a Corm up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
South-western N. America - California.
Plains and hillsides[
] on dry open ridges and grassy meadows to 1800 metres[
Easily grown in a well-drained rich sandy loam[
], it likes plenty of moisture whilst in growth followed by a warm dry period in late summer to autumn in order to fully ripen its bulb[
]. Plants are susceptible to rot in wet soils[
This species is hardy to between -5 to -10°c, it may require protection in severe winters[
]. This can be done by applying a good organic mulch such as dry bracken in late autumn and removing it in early spring. Alternatively, you can cover the ground with a cloche or other device.
A very ornamental plant, it can flower in 2 years from seed.
Corm - raw or cooked[
]. A sweet flavour[
], it may seem rather flat at first, but the taste quickly grows on one[
]. A slow baking develops the sweetness of the corm[
]. The corm can be dried and ground into a powder then used as a thickener in soups or mixed with cereal flours to make bread etc[
]. The corm is usually harvested in the spring[
Flowers - raw[
]. A nice decoration in the salad bowl[
The corms have been rubbed on metate into an adhesive and then spread on baskets to close the interstices and prevent small seeds falling through the gaps[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a free-draining compost in a cold frame[
]. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame[
]. Seedlings are prone to damping off and so should be kept well ventilated[
]. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
]. If the seed is sown thinly enough, it can be grown on for its first year without transplanting and then the dormant bulbs can be planted 2/3 to a pot. Otherwise prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle, planting them 2/3 to a pot. Grow on the plants in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Division in autumn of offsets that have reached flowering size[
]. Dig up the clumps of bulbs and replant the larger ones into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller ones and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.