Dichelostemma capitatum – Bluedicks

Dichelostemma capitatum - Bluedicks, Desert Hyacinth

Dichelostemma capitatum - Bluedicks, Desert Hyacinth

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Dichelostemma capitatum

Synonyms: Dichelostemma pulchellum, Brodiaea pulchella

Common Names: Bluedicks, Desert Hyacinth

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. It grows in sunny, open areas.

Flower Color: Violet to pinkish purple, White (rare)

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 30 inches (76 cm) tall

Description: The flowers are clustered in umbel-like heads at the tops of tall, leafless flower stalks. The individual flowers are 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and have 6 petal-like segments. The leaves are green, narrowly linear, and grasslike. The crushed leaves smell like onions. The plants reproduce both by their swollen, onion-like, underground corms (bulbs) and by seed.

Special Characteristics

Culturally Significant Plant – Native Americans traditionally gathered the corms for food.

Edible – The starchy corms are edible, but the plants are protected (see below), so do not eat them.

Legal Status – The subspecies D. capitatum ssp. pauciflorum is a Protected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted).


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae – Lily family
Genus: Dichelostemma Kunth – snakelily
Species: Dichelostemma capitatum (Benth.) Alph. Wood – bluedicks

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map