I had a couple of very pleasant surprises when we drove into a air field for a glider ride! First of all, the glider ride over Hidden Valley in Sonoma was a delight. Before we got into the office, I had noticed a very large expanse of Brodaea, and after picking some and looking them up again, decided that they were similar to Queen Fabiola which I thought was a hybrid of a wild flower. Instead, these were truly beatiful, full umbels of blue flowers like those I used to sell when I first began my bulb business and then grew for five years as cut flowers. They have also been reclassified at Tritelia. In the bouquet below, there are 2 stems of the Brodaea or Tritelia with some buds still to open.
In any case, we added them to the bouquet of wild flowers we had been identifying and collecting, although we had left the rare Mt. St. Helena faun lily in place. I listed twenty varieties that we had found and the brodaea were the last ones along with the unusal clover in their patch. The owners of the air strip said the flowers had always been there and were not sown as far as they knew.
I’ve now added Brodaea, Queen Fabiola back onto my listing of bulbs and look forward to planting some in my pasture next year. I want to go back to the airfield and dig some up to see how deeply they grow naturally and photograph them. Meanwhile, here is a photo I found on line of them planted in a border. They are a very long lasting cut flower, a breautiful addition to the perennial border and a very good value for such a beautiful flower. The stems on the commercial varities is about 12″. Do enjoy them in every setting!