[The Cluster Lilies of the Columbia River Gorge]

Douglas' Brodiaea, Blue Lily, Blue Umber Lily, Largeflower Triteleia, Large-flowered Triteleia

Triteleia grandiflora ssp. grandiflora

Synonyms: Brodiaea douglasii, Brodiaea grandiflora, Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora

Douglas' Brodiaea, Blue Lily, Blue Umber Lily, Largeflower Triteleia, Large-flowered Triteleia: Triteleia grandiflora ssp. grandiflora (Synonyms: Brodiaea douglasii, Brodiaea grandiflora, Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora)

Douglas' Brodiaea as seen from along Washington Highway SR 14 about one mile east of Roosevelt, WA...........April 18, 2010.

Characteristics:

Like bicolor cluster lily, Douglas' Brodiaea is a pretty prairie wildflower with a single stem arising from 20-70 cm in height from a deep seated, scaly corm. A pair of linear, grass-like leaves arise from the base of the plant. The leaves are flat but keeled beneath, ranging from 25-50 cm long and from 3-10 mm wide.

The inflorescence is a compact ro moderately loose umbel, the pedicels ranging from 1-5 cm long. The flowers consist of six fused tepals, forming a slightly flaring tube about 9 to 12 mm long. The tips of the tepals are free. The tube and tepals range from light to deep blue, with a deeper bluish-purple midvein.

The inner trio of tepals are broader than the outer trio, and the inner tepals are noticeably wavy-margined, the ruffling of the margin at least partly blocking the entrance to the tube (Note photo below.).

Douglas' Brodiaea is very similar in appearance to bicolor cluster lily. The latter plant may be identified due to the tighter inflorescence, lighter flowers (especially in the Columbia River Gorge and inland), and the lack of significant ruffling along the margins of the inner tepals.

Cluster lilies are suitable additions for prairie gardens but should only be purchased from reputable dealers of native plants. they should not be dug from wild locations.


Habitat:

Grasslands, sagebrush desert, and ponderosa pine forests.


Range:

Douglas' Brodiaea is found wholly east of the Cascade Mountains, from south-central British Columbia through central and eastern Washington, south-eastern Oregon, and estward western Montana, Wyoming, and northern Utah.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found at an elevation of 100' near the Dallesport, WA.


Corolla of Douglas' Brodiaea, Blue Lily, Blue Umber Lily, Largeflower Triteleia, Large-flowered Triteleia: Triteleia grandiflora ssp. grandiflora (Synonyms: Brodiaea douglasii, Brodiaea grandiflora, Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora) - Sideview of the corolla of Douglas' Brodiaea, Blue Lily, Blue Umber Lily, Largeflower Triteleia, Large-flowered Triteleia: Triteleia grandiflora ssp. grandiflora (Synonyms: Brodiaea douglasii, Brodiaea grandiflora, Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora) - Inflorescence of Douglas' Brodiaea, Blue Lily, Blue Umber Lily, Largeflower Triteleia, Large-flowered Triteleia: Triteleia grandiflora ssp. grandiflora (Synonyms: Brodiaea douglasii, Brodiaea grandiflora, Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora)

Close-ups of the flowers of Douglas' Brodiaea as seen from along Washington Highway SR 14 about one mile east of Roosevelt, WA...........April 18, 2010. Note the inner trio of tepals which are distinctly ruffled and flared at a level about 2-3 mm higher than the outer trio of tepals.

Paul Slichter