June’s Blue Haze, Brodiaea
This is a picture story of Elegant or Harvest Brodiaea in the Sierra foothill garden. This is its native area, just south of Yosemite National Park. This and Pretty Face are the two main wild flowers existing here on the land we settled ion near the Sierra National Forest. Until starting this blog, I only have taken two or three photos of either one. Now I enjoy recording all it’s stages here in the garden and beyond in the natural areas of the place.
Harvest or Elegant brodiaea, Brodiaea elegans
This pretty native has the same umbrella-like umbrel tipped with bright blue or lavender-blue trumpets about 1 inch long. The six petals have little if any yellow in the center of each flower, but a paler shade of the same flower color, which can distinguish it from other brodiaeas. It grows 8-10 inches tall on sunny woodland slopes in great numbers, all through the California foothills and other areas of the West.
I’m digging a hole to plant Cleveland sage. Obviously I didn’t dig deep enough to find the bulb of this in-the-way brodiaea. And look at that clay! These don’t mind it.
At the end of the bloom period of the Pretty face, (also know as Golden Brodiaea,) the Elegant Brodiaea show up. The spring fields of gold slowly convert into cool blue on the dry slopes.
The peak bloom is mid June to mid July, a nice long time period, reliable in the garden.
In a natural area, this is how they look.
The brodiaea appear even around the newly planted Penstemon planted around the edge of the meadow.
The brodiaea forms a blue fringe among the meadow wildflowers and Penstemon.
A few of these appear in a lower area of the property along one of the paths, the only place here that this two-tone color has been seen. See the three pointy white staminoides? These are how you tell this variety.
This was a partidularly dense showing of the blue.
Now I’m just having fun…
Elegant Brodiaea goes well with other Mediterannean plants, such as with this Helichrysum ‘Icicles’. After planting the helichrysum, the brodiaea still popped up, so apparently it wasn’t fazed by the disturbance.
This was a pleasant surprise! There is a Brodiaea pallida, but it has more light lavender in it. I don’t know why the variations appear.
Look at all the seeds the dried pods! Should I just shake these where I want more to grow?
Note: If you, dear readers, would like to try growing these, either the blue Elegant Brodiaea here or the Golden Brodiaea, Triteleia ixioides, from seed, I would be glad to send some to you. Let me know…