Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dichelostemma capitatum (Blue Dicks)

Bluedicks, Blue Dicks, Wild Hyacinth, Purplehead, Brodiaea, Dichelostemma pulchella, Dichelostemma pulchellum


An early spring bloomer, Dichelostemma capitatum (Blue Dicks) is an herbaceous perennial boasting dense clusters of 2-15 purple-blue (occasionally white) flowers adorned with six fertile stamens. Blooming in early to late spring, the flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Since not all the flowers open at once, a single plant is usually in bloom for several weeks. Borne on naked twisted and fleshy stems, they rise above the basal foliage of 2-3 grass-like leaves. The leaves may wither by bloom time. Blue Dicks grow from edible corms that used to be baked by Native American tribes. These corms were an important starch source in their diet. The corms are also eaten by both small and large mammals included black bears, mule deer, exotic wild pigs. The flowers are edible too and can be used raw as decoration in salads and on desserts. Blue Dicks naturalize easily from seed and vegetative means in the form of corms. They come back reliably, year after year and are a charming sight in rock gardens, beds and borders, along walkways, or naturalized in meadows where they form small but dense colonies. Since dormant in summer, interplant Blue Dicks with later-blooming bulbs and other perennials in the garden.

  • Grows up to 24-30 in. tall (60-75 cm) and 1-6 in. wide (2-15 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in well-drained soils. The plant is common in climates that have rain in winter and spring, and a summer dry season. Therefore, simulate these conditions in the garden. The plant is intolerant of frequent summer water and should not be planted near lawns or plants that require a lot of moisture during the summer. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Stunning in wildflower meadows, rock gardens, cottage gardens. For best visual impact, plant in groups. Excellent cut flowers.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Corms are the easiest to start. Plant bigger corms 3-4 in. deep (7-10 cm) and smaller corms 1-2 in. deep (2-5 cm) in the fall. Space the corms 1 in. apart (2.5 cm).
  • Propagation by seed: seeds sown in the fall usually readily germinate and do not need special treatment. If sown at other times of the year the seeds may need one month's stratification. If planting seeds, they will take several years to reach flowering size.
  • Found from Oregon, throughout most of California including the southern halfway of the Baja California peninsula, southeast into New Mexico, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1" – 6" (2cm – 15cm)
Spacing 1" (2cm)
Depth 1" – 4" (2cm – 10cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Doug Meek, Sundry Photography, Shutterstock, Tracie Hall, MizPrint, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1" – 6" (2cm – 15cm)
Spacing 1" (2cm)
Depth 1" – 4" (2cm – 10cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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