(Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum)
Origin Of Genus Name: Dichelostemma is a Greek reference to appendages on the stamens, the male part of the flower. Capitatum refers to flowers forming a cap at the top of the stalk.
Presidio Locations: Found in serpentine grassland, coastal prairie, and dune scrub.
Range In State: Throughout California
Description: This native, perennial species of the Lily Family has two or three grass-like leaves up to 16 inches long and a single flower stalk which can reach 2 feet. Often the two to fifteen tightly packed flowers that form the head are pale lavender to dark purple. Blooms March to May.
Native Californian Uses: The Miwok ate the bulbs, an important starch source, steaming them in an earth oven.
Did You Know?
Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Pacific branch of the army, prepared the defenses of the San Francisco Bay and ordered the first garrison of Fort Point. Kentucky-born Johnston then resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army; he was killed at the battle of Shiloh in 1862.