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Useful Temperate Plants

Triteleia hyacinthina

(Lindl.) Greene

Asparagaceae


Several species of Triteleia are exceedingly variable, and polyploidy is common: multiples of both x = 7 and x = 8 occur, suggesting that chromosomal changes have played a significant evolutionary role within the genus[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
This is a cytologically and morphologically variable species, with large-flowered forms found in wet places; smaller, scabrous forms found in dry places; forms with rather long pedicels (sometimes recognized as var. lactea); and forms with filaments lacking dilated triangular bases[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

+ Synonyms

Allium lacteum (Lindl.) Benth.

Allium tilingii Regel

Brodiaea dissimulate M.Peck

Brodiaea grandiflora Pursh

Brodiaea hyacinthina (Lindl.) Baker

Brodiaea lactea (Lindl.) S.Watson

Hesperoscordum hyacinthium Lindl.

Hesperoscordum lacteum Lindl.

Hesperoscordum lewisii Hook.

Hookera hyacinthina (Lindl.) Kuntze

Milla hyacinthina (Lindl.) Baker

Scaduakintos umbellaris Raf.

Veatchia crystallina Kellogg

Common Name: Hyacinth Brodiaea

Triteleia hyacinthina
Flowering plants in the University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley, California, USA
Photograph by: Stan Shebs
Creative Commons License

General Information

Triteleia hyacinthina is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from an underground corm. It produces 1 - 3 grass-like leaves 10 - 40cm long and a flowering scape 30 - 60cm tall[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. The corm produces offsets, so that eventually a cluster of plants grow together.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. The native N. American people would often harvest the corms in quantity and used to semi-manage the areas where the plant grew in order to ensure a sustainable harvest.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Western N. America - British Columbia, Washington, western Idaho, Oregon and California.

Habitat

Grasslands; grassy, often rocky open flats; mid-montane meadows; vernally wet meadows; occasionally on drier slopes; at elevations up to 2,000 metres[
60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
,
90
Title
Bulbs
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. and Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30253-1
Description
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitCorm
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusSemi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Requires a rich well-drained sandy loam[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Likes plenty of moisture whilst in growth followed by a warm dry period in late summer and autumn[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Succeeds outdoors in a very sheltered warm position, otherwise it is best grown in a bulb frame[
90
Title
Bulbs
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. and Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30253-1
Description
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
].
The corm produces contractile roots which can pull the corm deeper into the soil[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
There are two basic forms of this species, a large white-flowered form grows wild in wet places whilst a smaller form is found on drier slopes[
90
Title
Bulbs
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. and Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30253-1
Description
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
].
When harvesting the corms from the wild, the native N. Americans followed a few simple rules to ensure that there would be good harvests in future years. Firstly, they would not harvest all the plants, making sure there were mature seed-producing plants the following year. When harvesting the corms, they would replant any smaller corms attached to the large one. Harvesting would usually take place after the plants had produced seed, also harvesting the seed and scattering it in suitable places. They would also periodically burn the area where the plants were growing whilst the plants were dormant, thus reducing competition from other species[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Edible Uses

Bulb - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. Rich in starch, the bulb can be used like potatoes[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Alternatively, the seed can be sown in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 15°c. Sow the seed thinly so that there is no need to prick them out and grow the seedlings on in the pot for their first year. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. Seedlings are prone to damping off so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated. When they become dormant, pot up the small bulbs placing about 3 in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for another year or two until the bulbs are about 20mm in diameter and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in the autumn.
Division of flowering size bulbs in autumn. Dig up the clumps of bulbs, replanting the larger ones direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller ones and grow them on in a greenhouse for a year before planting them out when they are dormant in early autumn.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-10-07. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Triteleia+hyacinthina>

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