• A profusion of Pretty Face

    by  • May 19, 2011 • Garden, Plant Profiles, Sierra Foothills, Spring

    Pretty face, Triteleia ixioides

    Pretty face, Triteleia ixioides

    Pretty Face, Triteleia ixioides

    Sunny starry yellow, Pretty Face is sometimes called Golden brodiaea or Golden Stars, and is native to California, appearing only slightly beyond the borders, according to CalFlora. This variety, found on our place and all through the Oakhurst Yosemite area, may be Triteleia ixioides ssp. scabra or Foothill Pretty Face. This pretty bulb first shows up as tall thin stems, early in February.  It blooms in May, one stalk per bulb with an umbrel of 10 or more 1/2 inch wide flowers, up-facing  with a pale green stripe on the outside of each petal that turns rosy burgundy when mature.

    Ephemeral sprouts appear as early as middle of February

    Ephemeral sprouts appear as early as middle of February

    I categorize Pretty face in with the term ephemerals, because they appear seemingly from nowhere, so low-key before they bloom, but when they do, they bloom for the entire month of May. The sprouts appear back in February, you’ll notice when you learn to identify them. I emailed Judith Larner Lowry and Erica Glasner and asked their definitions of ephemerals. Each had her own.  I like the word as a description of our native Spring bulbs no matter how long they bloom or whether they are considered annual, perennial or whatever.

    I hope you enjoy these photos…I was down on my stomach trying to get them…

    The purpley veins cause me to think these are the ssp T. ixioides ssp. scabra. Other varieties are green.

    In early May, they start to bloom in the fields

    In early May, they start to bloom in the fields

    Field of Pretty face, Triteleia ixioides ssp. scabra

    Field of Pretty face, Triteleia ixioides ssp. scabra

    Every year the pretty face bloom all over our land, but this is the first time I’ve photographed them so thoroughly. It has been fun writing this blog– it’s an opportunity to learn a lot more about the plants in our area.

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.