Triteleia grandiflora

From Puget Prairie Plants
Triteleia grandiflora. Photo by Ben Legler

Scientific Name: Triteleia grandiflora var. howelli
Family: Liliaceae
English Names: Howell’s brodiaea, Howell's lily, Howell's triteleia
Other Names: Brodiaea howellii

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • clade: Angiosperms
  • clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Subfamily: Brodiaeoideae
  • Genus: Triteleia
  • Species: T. grandiflora

Description

General: Scapose perennial from a scaly, deep-seated corm.
Leaves: Leaves 1-2, flat but keeled beneath, 3-10 mm. broad, 2.5-5 dm. long, not withering by flowering.
Flowers: Flowers several in an open umbel, the pedicels 1-5 cm. long; tepals 6, deep blue to almost white, the tube 7-12 mm. long, the segments of equal length with deeper blue mid-veins; outer series plane, broadly lanceolate, inner series broader, more or less ruffled; fertile stamens 6, the filaments unequally inserted or unequal in length, about as broad as long or much broader than long; anthers 2-3 mm. long, yellow to blue.
Fruit: Capsule sub-terete, 6-grooved, with a stipe about half as long

Bloom Period

Flowering spring through summer (April-July)

Distribution

Distributed on both sides of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to Oregon, east to Montana.

Habitat

Ecological Setting

Coastal grassy bluffs and prairies to sagebrush desert and ponderosa pine forests.

Soil Texture

Medium textured soils

Nutrients

Medium fertility requirement

Soil Reaction / Salinity

pH, Minimum 6.0 pH, Maximum 7.5;
no salinity tolerance

Moisture Regime

Medium drought tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Intermediate

Uses

Wildlife

Low palatability for browsing or grazing animals;

First Nations

Corms eaten steamed or roasted; corms put in medicine bag to make more potent; used medicinally

Other

Young seedpods - cooked as a potherb. An excellent green.

Propagation

Crop Intervals

Perrenials

Seed Propagation

Fruit and Seed Collection and Extraction

Seeds are easily collected when the capsule begins to split, either by shaking the seed into an envelope or collecting whole capsules. Seeds are black when mature. They are stored in envelopes or paper bags at room temperature until cleaned. Seed shaken from capsules needs no cleaning. Whole capsules can be crushed to release seed. Seed is cleaned with an air column separator..

Seed Storage

Clean seed is stored in controlled conditions at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% relative humidity

Fruit/Seed Dormancy and Treatment

Cool, moist stratification and cool growing conditions are needed. No seed germinated without pretreatment. 30 days of cool, moist stratification resulted in a few seeds germinating, but they did not survive in the greenhouse. High germination was obtained from seeds sown in flats and left outside under cool, fluctuating spring temperatures. Seedlings which germinated outside died when placed in the greenhouse.

Vegetative Propagation

In late November or early December seeds are sown in flats containing a 3:1 mix of Sunshine #4 and sharp sand. They are covered lightly. A thin layer of sand or fine grit is applied to the flats to prevent seed and soil from floating out. Pea gravel is not used because many of the stones are impossible to separate from the corms at harvest. Flats are watered deeply. They are placed outside subject to winter conditions.
Germination begins in late March or early April and continues for 3 weeks. Some seed will germinate after a second winter.
1 month
Flats are moved to the lath house in late May. Plants will develop 1 true leaf in the first season and go dormant in mid to late June. They are left in the lath house with no protection, except snow cover, over the winter. Trays should be protected from extreme cold if not covered with snow, however. In subsequent years, they are watered as needed and fertilized twice with a water soluble, complete fertilizer during the active growth phase. After dormancy, flats are watered only enough to keep the soil from drying out completely.
3 years
Hardening not needed, as plants are grown outside.
After 3 years, the plants have developed corms of about 1/4" inch in diameter. In August or September of the third year, the trays are dumped out and corms are separated from the soil using hand screens.
Corms can be dug from existing populations and moved to another site. They can also be held in pots for later replanting. Corms are buried 6-8 inches and can be difficult to locate. Corms should only be removed from sites where habitat is to be destroyed by development.
Diploid plants produce few cormlets and the corms are generally in the upper three inches of the soil, while polyploid plants are more likely to reproduce vegetatively by cormlets and the corms are more deeply buried [1]



Outplanting Characteristics and Requirements

Corms are planted about 2 inches deep in October

Photo Gallery

References

  1. Barkworth, 1977