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Firecracker Brodiaea
Dichelostemma ida-maia
About Firecracker Brodiaea (Dichelostemma ida-maia) Nurseries Show All Photos Dichelostemma ida-maia is a species of flowering plant known as firecracker flower. It is native to northern California and southern Oregon, where it grows in mountain forests, woodlands, and coastal meadows. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for its showy crimson and cream flowers. This is a perennial herb growing from a corm which erects a tall, naked stem topped with an umbel of six to 20 flowers. Each flower is a cylindrical red tube two to three centimeters long. The tip of each flower lobe curls back to reveal a shiny white underside. The curls rim the mouth of the tubular flower in a corona, surrounding the small anthers and a stalked ovary. The flower hangs when it is in anthesis and holds itself erect as the fruit develops. One umbel may have some hanging flowers and some erect fruiting flowers at the same time.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.5 m)

Max. Width
.5 ft (0.2 m)

Summer Deciduous

Flower Color
Cream, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open and grassy places

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
9' - 6138'

Annual Precip. ?
34.2" - 120.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.53" - 3.72"

Coldest Month ?
37.3° F - 50.0° F

Hottest Month ?
56.6° F - 75.6° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 25.99 vpd

Soil Description

Fast, Medium, Slow

Sunset Zones ?
4, 5, 6, 7*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Use in understory of north coast trees such as Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), or Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus). Works well with other geophytes such as Mariposa Lilies (Calochortus sp.), Oregon Lily (Lilium columbaianum), and Brodiaea sp.

Wildlife Attracted
This is the only species in the genus that is pollinated by birds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

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

Deep Organic

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Optimum germination requires 40°F (constant) and no light or a wide diurnal fluctuation (40° to 80°F) and no light (Keator 1968). Sowing outdoors in fall and excluding light may give satisfactory germination.

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Firecracker Flower, Ida May's Snakelily

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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