Brodiaea is a genus restricted to western North America, ranging geographically from Vancouver, B.C. to Baja California. This name has been used for a whole group of plants referred to as the Brodiaea complex that also includes the genera Dichelostemma and Triteleia. Brodiaea is differentiated from Dichelostemma by a flowering stem that is generally straight not curved or twisted, an umbel that is typically open, not dense, and the presence of three sterile stamens (staminodes) instead of appendages that are crown-like, forming a tube outside the anthers. Brodiaea is differentiated from Triteleia by having only three fertile stamens instead of 6. This genus has been considered to be a member of many different families in the past (Amaryllidaceae, Liliaceae, Alliaceae). Recent work (2001) suggests placing it in a new family, Themidaceae, which includes other California genera (Androstephium, Bloomeria, Dichelostemma, and Triteleia) and some Mexican genera with corms. Even more recent work suggests placing it a proposed expansion of Asparagaceae in a branch with Hyacinthaceae. Brodiaea was the topic of the week on the Pacific Bulb Society list in June 2003. The discussion was led by Mary Sue Ittner. The pbs archives are the source for her Daily Introductions. New species have been identified since then and other species renamed based mostly on geographical locations and morphological differences that are often quite subtle and sometimes challenging to determine from older photographs and plants grown from seed in cultivation. More changes are expected with further study.
For more photos and information about the species select the appropriate wiki page:
or click on the name in the table below: