[The Lily Family in the Columbia River Gorge]

Ball-headed Cluster Lily, Cluster Lily, Northern Saitas, Ookow

Dichelostemma congestum

Synonyms: Brodiaea congesta, Hookera congesta

Flower head of Ball-headed Cluster Lily, Cluster Lily, Northern Saitas, Ookow: Dichelostemma congestum (Synonyms: Brodiaea congesta, Hookera congesta)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower head of ball-headed cluster lily as seen at Catherine Creek in the central Columbia River Gorge...................May 14, 2006.

Close-up of a flower of Ball-headed Cluster Lily, Cluster Lily, Northern Saitas, Ookow: Dichelostemma congestum (Synonyms: Brodiaea congesta, Hookera congesta)The photo at right shows ball-headed cluster lily photographed one mile west of Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Columbia River Gorge............June 12, 2002.

Characteristics:

Ball-headed cluster lily is an attractive perennial wildflower. The flower scapes arise 40-70 cm high from the 2-3 basal leaves. Individual leaves measure up to 60 cm long and 3-10 mm wide, and are flattened with a keel on the lower side.

The inflorescence is a tight cluster of many flowers. Individual flowers contain 6 lavender to bluish-purple tepals which form a tube up to 2 cm long with the tips spreading at about mid-length. Three fertile stamens are found within the flower with the anthers about 5 mm long.


Habitat:

Ball-headed cluster lily may be found on grassy, open to lightly forested slopes.


Range:

Ball-headed cluster lily may be found from the San Juan Islands and south sporadically through the Puget Trough to the Columbia River Gorge. It is found south through the Willamette Valley to southwestern Oregon and to the west of the Sierra Nevada in northern and central California.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-3000' between Cape Horn east to near The Dalles, OR.


Paul Slichter