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Dichelostemma capitatum

About Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum) Dichelosemma capitatum (syn. D. pulchellum), called Blue dicks, Wildhyacinth, Purplehead and Brodiaea (alternate spellings, Brodiea, Brodeia ) occur in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. There are wo recognized subspecies: Dichelosemma capitatum subsp. capitatum and Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. pauciflorum. Dichelostemma capitatum is an herbaceous perennial growing from an underground corm to a height of as much as 60 centimeter. It has 2-3 leaves which are 10-40 centimeter long. The flower cluster is head- or umbel-like, and dense. It usually contains 2 to 15 flowers, which have a blue, blue-purple, pink-purple, or white perianth. The flower tube is 3-12 millimeter and is narrowly cylindrical to campanulate. Flowers have six fertile stamens, deeply notched, lance-shaped, white, angled inward, slightly reflexed at tip, with outer filaments wider at the base. It has a twisted and fleshy peduncle, a set of membranous, petal-like stamen appendages around the anthers, and angular black seeds. It reproduces from seed and vegetative means in the form of cormlets. The cormlets are attached to the parent corm by stolons and are sessile, produced in the axils of the old leaf bases on the mature corm. Plants thrive in open disturbed environments, and are a common post-fire succession species in chaparral.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.5 - 2 ft (0.46 - 0.6 m)

Max. Width
2 in (5cm)

Upright Columnar


Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous

It is a monocot with parallel veins in long, slender, grass-like leaves. The leaves emerge from the corm with the first winter rains.

Flower Color
Lavender, Blue

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open places,meadows, grassy places, openings in mixed chaparral or coastal sage scrub on rocky slopes, canyons and mesas. Also found in desert transition zone


Elevation ?
-131' - 8105'

Annual Precip. ?
2.9" - 133.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 3.85"

Coldest Month ?
30.9° F - 58.8° F

Hottest Month ?
57.8° F - 88.3° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 38.38 vpd

Soil Description

Soil Texture
Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -20° F

Companion Plants
Native grasses, Calochortus spp, Coast Sagebush, Chamise, Sugar Bush, Yucca spp, Dudleya spp, various cactus species

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds and insects

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
moderately easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
The offsets from the corms can be removed and replanted elsewhere. The seeds also germinate relatively well in open soil with no weeds and minimal mulch. Corms are often available from specialty bulb vendors or CNPS plant sales.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Brodiaea pulchella

Common Names
Bluedicks, Vernal Pool Blue Dicks, Wildhyacinth

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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