Brodiaea is a genus with sixteen species restricted to western North America, ranging geographically from Vancouver, B.C. to Baja California. This genus is in the Liliaceae, Asparagaceae or Themidaceae family depending on which taxonomists you follow. More information can be found on the main Brodiaea wiki page.
Brodiaea species K-Z are found on this wiki page.
Brodiaea kinkiensis is commonly known as San Clemente Island brodiaea or larkspur and is endemic to San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. Click for map The native Gabrielino-Tongva people are said to have called the island Kinki or Kinkipar. This species is found in clay soil in grassland. It is extremely rare. The flowers are purple or violet with a narrow bell-shaped tube and spreading lobes. The inner tepals are round and the staminodes erect with a pointed tip and held away from the stamens. The stamens are unusual with the free part of the filaments triangular-winged and the anthers widely notched between the pollen chambers. Flowering May-June, this species is very short, growing to 1 in. (2.5 cm). Photos from Mary Sue Ittner who grew this species from seed. Blooming in May 2014, it was a long time from seed to bloom. In cultivation it is much taller and not all the flowers had staminodes with a pointed tip as shown in the photos.
Brodiaea minor is endemic to California and found in clay gravelly soil in grasslands and foothill woodlands in the hot foothills of the Sacramento Valley. Flowers are pale bluish to lilac with narrow petals and the tube pinched in just below the petals. The staminodes are erect, white, held close to the stamens, inrolled with a notched tip. It blooms from March to April. In the second edition of the Jepson Manual Brodiaea purdyi has been included in this species. At the time of this edit the Flora of North America still has the species separated although this may change. The main difference in the two species was size with the previous classification showing the scape of Brodiaea minor to be 2–10 cm, the inner perianth lobes 5–7 mm wide and the style 5–6 mm. Brodiaea purdyi was taller with narrower tepals. Photo 1 was taken by Bob Rutemoeller and photos 2-4 were taken by Mary Sue Ittner of the first bloom from seed of this very small species in June 2009. Mary Sue found this species very difficult to keep going in her garden (both grown from seed and purchased bulbs.) On the other hand the taller version (Brodiaea purdyi) has been successfully grown for years.
The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen.
Brodiaea orcuttii is a very rare species commonly known as Orcutt's brodiaea found in clay soil on serpentine substrate under vernally-flooded conditions in meadow and vernal-pool and stream habitats in Riverside and San Diego counties to Baja California. The red-purple to blue flowers with widely spreading lobes are similar to Brodiaea filifolia but have no staminodes. Although Jepson lists this species as growing to 10 in. (25 cm) tall I have seen much taller plants, to 18" (and also much shorter plants, 5"). Orcutt's brodiaea blooms April-July, as the vernal area begins to dry up. Photos by Jim Duggan.
Brodiaea pallida is commonly known as Chinese Camp brodiaea. This species is a rare California endemic, considered rare and endangered and found in serpentine substrate under vernally-flooded conditions in riparian habitats near Chinese Camp, Tuolumne County. It has pale purple or lilac flowers, sometimes with a white center and the tube is urn-shaped. The staminodes are erect, white, and held close to the stamens with inrolled margins and deeply notched tips. Pictures are of garden grown plants originally purchased from plants grown from seed. Photos 1-2 were taken by Bob Rutemoeller and photos 3-4 were taken by Mary Sue Ittner. Photo 4 shows the corms on a 1 cm grid. Photo 5 was taken by Nhu Nguyen of a lovely patch at the UC Botanical Garden.
Brodiaea purdyi has been included in Brodiaea minor in the second edition of The Jepson Manual. It is still listed in the Flora of North America as a separate species. The main difference was in the size with this species being taller with narrower tepals (10-25 cm with inner perianth lobes 4–5 mm wide and the style 7–9 mm). Commonly known as Purdy's brodiaea, this species is found in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California in open woodlands and often on serpentine. It has blue-violet flowers distinguished by narrow spreading tepals and an urn-like tube. The white staminodes are narrow, erect, held close to the stamens but above the petals, with inrolled margins and notched tips. It blooms from April to June. Photos 1-3 were taken by Mary Sue Ittner, including a picture of the corms on a 1 cm grid. Photos 4-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen showing the staminodes and a full-blooming specimen.
Brodiaea purdyi 'Blue Ribbons' is a cultivar of this species once sold by the Robinetts. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner show a container with many flowers open at the same time as well as close-ups.
Brodiaea stellaris or the star-flowered brodiaea is a low-grower and is found on serpentine slopes in the middle Coast Ranges from Sonoma County to Humboldt County. It has blue-purple flowers with wide, blunt, white staminodes and small appendages behind the anthers and blooms May-July. The first photo was taken by Bob Rutemoeller and the second by Mary Sue Ittner. The third was taken by Mark McDonough. It shows this species growing in his Massachusetts garden, where it was surviving and flowering late June each of the next 4 years after he purchased a couple bulbs from Jim Robinett in 1999. Photos 4-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen of a form from Telos Rare Bulbs.
Brodiaea terrestris is a coastal bluff and coastal prairie plant with stems appearing to be half buried beneath the soil. Commonly known as dwarf brodiaea or earth brodiaea, this species grows from California to Oregon. The flowers are light blue to blue-violet with a triangular tube. The angled staminodes are white to violet, leaning inward but held away from the stamens. It blooms from April into June depending on the location. There are two subspecies. The first two photos were taken by Nhu Nguyen. Photo 2 was taken at the Tilden Botanic Garden of a plant labeled as Brodiaea minor that is probably this species. Corms received in PBS BX 321 #7 grown by Nhu Nguyen and labeled NNBH1205 are shown on a 1 cm grid in photo 3 by M. Gastil-Buhl.
Brodiaea terrestris ssp. kernensis is a subspecies that can be taller (2 to 20 cm) with larger flowers, violet (sometimes white) staminodes and a green ovary. The anther tips are erect to reflexed, generally without a dentate lobe in the notch. The plant in the first photo from Bob Rutemoeller was grown from wild collected seed in Kern County California at a high elevation. The second photo was taken by Jim Duggan from a San Diego County population.
Brodiaea terrestris ssp. terrestris is the shortest subspecies (.5 to 7 cm). It has white to pale violet staminodes and anthers with reflexed tips and a dentate lobe in the notch. These pictures show it in habitat in Northern California. The first four were taken at Salt Point State Park. One shows a rare white flower. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller.