Wally Basket (Ithuriel's spear); Triteleia
Mid Bloomer. Light
blue to blue-purple flowers clustered at top of tall stems. Bulbs were
food for Native Americans. Also called Grass Nuts or Ithuriel’s Spear.
family (See Blue Dicks for
family discussion). Former
name: Brodiaea Laxa-Triteleia, split off from Brodiaea.
name Ithuriel’s Spear is sometimes listed in
wildflower books. People will
often know it as that, so it good to be able to reference it as such.
The name comes from Milton’s Paradise Lost: an angel had a
spear and everything the spear touched would return objects
to their ‘proper shapes’—thus Satan in disguise was revealed in
his true form. Native
Americans used the
stems for temporary baskets, and the plant was dug and eaten as one of the
‘Indian Potatoes.’ Also
called Nut Grass for its nutty flavor.
Triteleia means ‘three complete’ in reference to its 3-flower
parts, laxa means ‘loose’ in reference to the openness of the umbel.
Click on species name below to go to USDA for this plant
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida -- Monocotyledons
Family Liliaceae -- Lily family
Genus Triteleia Dougl. ex Lindl. -- triteleia
-- Ithuriel's spear (or
laxa -- Wallybasket
can have an amazing number of flowers in a single umbel, here
25 of them.