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Californian Firecracker Plant
Dichelostemma ida-maia

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Dichelostemma (dy-kel-OH-stem-uh) (Info)
Species: ida-maia (EYE-da MAY-a) (Info)
Synonym:Brodiaea coccinea
Synonym:Brodiaea ida-maia
Synonym:Brevoortia ida-maia

Category:

Bulbs

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Red

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Canoga Park, California

Clayton, California

Richmond, California

Algonquin, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Hebron, Kentucky

North Tonawanda, New York

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Tangent, Oregon

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Magna, Utah

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
4
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On May 24, 2013, weedsfree from Magna, UT (Zone 7a) wrote:

When I bought these bulbs, I gave them a couple of years to see what they can do. They bloomed those 2 or 3 years I had them but they didn't multiply and the flowers were puny. They weren't even that tall and the color wasn't quite what I thought. I traded them away. HOWEVER, 2 years later and I have one that just popped up out of nowhere. Seems as though I forgot about one or missed it when digging it up. The color is brilliant and I quite like it. The flowers are bigger but I don't see how the hummers can spot them unless you have a good sized clump of them. I would like to keep this one and see how it does.

Positive

On May 18, 2010, nutsaboutnature from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I purchased ten of these from Brent and Becky's for planting in Autumn 2009 with hopes they might be another flower for the Hummingbirds to enjoy. I planted them in full sun.

This Spring they all came up & are now starting to bloom. They look just like the pictures on their website!! In fact, I like them so much that I plan to order more! Since they are just beginning to bloom, I can't comment yet whether my hummers like them, but even if they don't, I will still buy more.

They are a light, airy addition to my garden bed that will look great growing around & through other bulbs, perennials & annuals.

Update 7/21/11: I have now grown this unique bulb for two seasons and can definitely say the Hummingbirds in my yard seem to love it. I pla... read more

Neutral

On Jun 21, 2006, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I sowed the corms of this plant in 2004. In 2005 A couple of sprigs of grasslike leaves came up but then that was the end of it. This year (2006) I have two very nice bushy 2 1/2 ft. tall plants that I hope to see bloom for the first time this year. I hope that they are as attractive to my hummers as I have read that they are but even if they aren't, they look to be a nice addition to the garden. I made the original purchase from Breck's Bulbs and like all the bulbs I ordered from them they were too small to do anything for a couple of years.

Neutral

On Oct 6, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Survives drought during dormancy. Needs regular water while growing and blooming.

Positive

On Apr 27, 2004, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Native to Mendocino County, California north to Oregon; found at the edges of woods. Drought tolerant and attractive to hummers and other birds.

Neutral

On Mar 3, 2003, octofad wrote:

I planted corms of this plant in September 2002 - by December they were about an inch high and at time of writing (March 3 2003) leaves are about six inches with flower buds forming between them at the base of the plants. Compost is a sandy potting mix, and the plants are in full sun; water is given moderately and they seem to be thriving so far. I cannot find detailed cultural instructions about this plant.