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Triteleia laxa

Ithuriel's Spear



Triteleia laxa is the latin name for Ithuriel's Spear (formerly Brodaeia laxa). It is a bulb, actually a corm closely related to lilies and onions which blooms in June then goes dormant, requiring a summer dry rest, although it is less picky about that than our other native grassland bulbs. They can be grown in full sun or fairly deep shade. The corms are no more than an inch across and are very delicious to eat raw or cooked, they taste much like a potato. Ithuriel's Spear is an easy plant to grow but is relatively unknown in the nursery trade. Triteleia laxa is beautiful, useful, adaptable and worthy of wider use.



Deep blues contrast with poppies. That's a soaproot bud stem in the upper-right.



A favorite pollen and nectar source for bees & butterflies. I've caught bumblebees napping inside the flowers.



There are a great variety of colors depending on the genetics, soils and amount of sun. These were growing in the shade where they took on a pale color.

More Triteleia trivia:
The common name comes from the spear of the angel Ithuriel (angel of justice) which has the power to reveal deception. When Satan disguised as a toad, whispered into Eve's ear, Ithuriel's spear touched him and revealed him as Satan. "The preacher needs now, if ever, the spear of Ithuriel, so delicate and fine as not to be seen, and yet so pointed and powerful as always to be felt, if he would pierce the rind of Leviathan." -James Challen, 'The Ministry'. In any case the unopened flower buds look a bit like spear heads.

There is a cultivar propagated in Holland called 'Queen Fabiola' and it is also used as a cut flower supposedly with a nice fragrance though I've not noticed much fragrance in the wild forms all these bulbs make good cut flowers. They are best put in a vase dry and will last well with no water. It is supposed to be easy to force the flowers year round from stored bulbs.

Common names also include: Grassnut, Blue Brodiaea, Bloomeria, Fool's Onion, Long Rayed Triteleia, Pretty Face, Starflower, Triplet Lily, Wild Hyacinth and Wally Baskets. The latin species name 'laxa' comes from 'relaxed' or loose, perhaps because of the open flowers?

Check availability of Triteleia laxa at the nursery
Check availability of Triteleia at the nursery