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.
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.
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.