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Common Name: Desert Lily
Hesperocallis undulata is a Bulb up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
South-western N. America - Arizona, California and Nevada,
Dry sandy flats and gentle slopes below 750 metres in deserts and creosote bush scrub[
Requires a very well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are intolerant of temperatures below freezing, especially if this is coupled with wetness[
]. The bulbs like plenty of moisture when in growth in the spring[
] but must be kept dry when they are dormant[
This species is not very hardy in Britain, it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or treated as a half-hardy annual[
], though they can succeed outdoors in very sheltered parts of south-west Britain[
]. Plants are very difficult to induce into flower in Britain and are best grown in a greenhouse in almost pure sand with some leafmold. Water should be withheld in the summer[
The flowers open in the evening and scent the air around them[
Bulbs are often found at a great depth in the soil[
Bulb - raw or cooked[
]. A garlic flavour[
]. The bulbs can be baked or boiled[
]. Quite large, the bulb is up to 5cm in diameter[
] and is found up to 50cm below soil level[
Seed - sow in late winter or as soon as ripe in a deep pot in a very free draining compost in a greenhouse. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not have to be pricked out, and grow the young seedlings on without disturbance for their first 2 years - give them very little water during their dormant period, merely making sure that the compost does not dry out completely. Divide the young bulbs up into individual deep pots when they have completed their second growing season and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least another year before planting them out during their dormant period.