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Dichelostemma pulchellum - (Salisb.)Heller.

Common Name Wild Hyacinth
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Plains and hillsides[71] on dry open ridges and grassy meadows to 1800 metres[42].
Range South-western N. America - California.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Dichelostemma pulchellum Wild Hyacinth

(c) Steve Flanagan
Dichelostemma pulchellum Wild Hyacinth


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Dichelostemma pulchellum is a CORM growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


D. capitatum. Brodiaea capitata. B. pulchella.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Root
Edible Uses:

Corm - raw or cooked[22, 61, 161, 183]. A sweet flavour[46], it may seem rather flat at first, but the taste quickly grows on one[95]. A slow baking develops the sweetness of the corm[95]. The corm can be dried and ground into a powder then used as a thickener in soups or mixed with cereal flours to make bread etc[257]. The corm is usually harvested in the spring[257]. Flowers - raw[257]. A nice decoration in the salad bowl[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


The corms have been rubbed on metate into an adhesive and then spread on baskets to close the interstices and prevent small seeds falling through the gaps[257].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a well-drained rich sandy loam[1], it likes plenty of moisture whilst in growth followed by a warm dry period in late summer to autumn in order to fully ripen its bulb[200]. Plants are susceptible to rot in wet soils[200]. This species is hardy to between -5 to -10°c, it may require protection in severe winters[90]. This can be done by applying a good organic mulch such as dry bracken in late autumn and removing it in early spring. Alternatively, you can cover the ground with a cloche or other device. A very ornamental plant, it can flower in 2 years from seed.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a free-draining compost in a cold frame[200]. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame[175]. Seedlings are prone to damping off and so should be kept well ventilated[175]. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[175]. If the seed is sown thinly enough, it can be grown on for its first year without transplanting and then the dormant bulbs can be planted 2/3 to a pot. Otherwise prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle, planting them 2/3 to a pot. Grow on the plants in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn of offsets that have reached flowering size[1]. Dig up the clumps of bulbs and replant the larger ones into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller ones and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Dichelostemma volubileSnake Lily, Twining snakelilyCorm3.6 8-11  LMSNDM20 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Jud   Wed Jan 21 2009

Also called "Blue Dicks" by M. Kat Anderson. She finds that a 50% harvest (of available individuals in any plot) with cormlet replacement will sustain if not increase wild Dichelostemma populations. M Kat Anderson. 1999 - The Edible Plant Dichelostemma Capitatum: Its Vegetative Reproduction Response to Different Indigenous Harvesting Regimes in California. In Restoration Ecology Vol. 7, No. 3.

   Wed Dec 9 2009

I have tried this and have found that it is very enjoyable!!!

Brogdale Collections National Fruit Collections

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