Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Hyacinth
Brodiaea californica

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Brodiaea (broh-dih-EE-uh) (Info)
Species: californica (kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Hookera leptandra

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive skansion On Jan 29, 2013, skansion from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Two Brodiaea(not californica cultivar) 'wild hyacinth' bulbs (edible bulb Lewis & Clark survived on at end of their expedition--it takes many to substitute a baked potato) were planted in indoor pot at fall propagated properly, but are not as hardy looking vs.volunteers growing outdoors in original soil. Those are happily self-spreading sprouting early now in their delicious few days rain post early Jan. cold spell.Those Brodiaea bulbs I potted to relocate did not bloom, but I will dig them up from the potting soil and transfer them directly into the renting-rented ground (with the landlord's permission.) Perhaps another year will sync them back into growing the same timing as the volunteer patch from whence they came. But a different sun & soil area may factor too, so we'll have to wait and see. The seeds & bulbs were collected last 2012 spring, left to dry in paper sack bag over the summer in cool dark space have germinated this January 2013. They are behind the growing season of the volunteers in the ground, but that may not matter. Seeds were placed in cardboard egg cartons in wet paper towel for several weeks covered by an aluminum in a window spot.( check the seed-liking germinating conditions first as the green lantana seeds did not do as well, molded in the moist covered carton. It's said 'lantana like light to germinate') so Ill try again with dryer dried out seeds.I lucked out with the brodiaea seeds germinating January in southern zone-8 (many varieties of Brodiaea are seen more prolifically and do well in Colorado) I've seen them growing naturally in Tubac, Az( Cooler conditions in the winter and higher elevation than Tucson.)


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

Tucson, Arizona
Richmond, California
Tangent, Oregon
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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