About fifteen species of bulbous plants belong to the genus Brodiaea, all originating from North America; many species once part of this genus are now classified in the genus triteleia. The brodiaea has medium-sized bulbs, which produce about 3-4 ribbon-shaped leaves, rather elongated, similar to a gramineae, of a bright green color, generally they dry out during flowering. In late spring it produces some stems, from thirty to fifty centimeters long, slightly arched, bearing inflorescences consisting of 3-4 large flowers, with six petals, blue, white or lilac blue. These bulbous plants are very suitable for borders or even for spots. Bulbs of certain species, such as B. coronaria, were consumed by some Californian tribes, such as wiyot, atsugewi, miwok and yana and used as food. The bulbs were collected using wooden shovels with which they dug into the ground to extract them.
These plants can tolerate any type of exposure, but prefer full sun, especially in places with very cold winters. They do not particularly fear the cold, even if it is advisable to mulch the ground for the first winter, immediately after planting the bulbs in autumn.
As far as cultivation is concerned, these are species that tend to bloom once the leaves have dried. This makes brodiacea species difficult to grow in traditional gardens. For this reason, for those who want to grow these plants in their garden, it is advisable to choose other perennial herbaceous plants to grow together with our brodiacee.
Native to the southern regions of the United States, these bulbous plants can easily withstand even long periods of drought, for optimal flowering it is however advisable to water regularly from March to June, taking care to allow the soil to dry well between one watering and the other to avoid water stagnation as a good rule of thumb. Excessive amounts of water could also cause possible rot.
As for the soil, the brodiaea plants prefer rich and loose, but very well drained soils; It is good to remember to add a good amount of sand to the soil before planting these plants. If cultivated in a container it is useful to repot them each year to ensure optimal growth.
The reproduction of these species can take place by seed, or by division of the cloves which are continuously produced by the plants; for a guaranteed success it is advisable to remove only the small bulbs that have already produced flowers from the "mother" bulb.
Brodiaea: Pests and diseases
Speaking of the problems that could affect brodiaea seedlings, we can say with tranquility that in general, they are not affected by pests or diseases. They are rather easy to grow plants and do not require special care and attention. It is good to remember only one of their peculiarities, namely the flowering following the drying of the leaves, so as to be able to place the seedlings in a flowerbed with other perennial herbaceous species.