These members of the ‘Lily Family’ are a very diverse group of approx 70 species of bulbous plants from Western Hemisphere through California, Mexico and Guatemala. California is the centre of diversity, being home to 28 endemic species. Depending on the species they can be found growing in semi desert, dry grasslands, wet meadows and mountain woodlands. It is the incredible beauty of the flowers that make this genus so attractive to gardeners and wildflower enthusiasts alike. They have gained a reputation of being difficult in cultivation but if you research where a species is from it becomes a lot easier to manage water and time their dry rest period. They pose more of a challenge than other common bulbs such as daffodils but the reward is well worth some tender loving care. One of our most favored bulbs!
Many of the species where a food source for the Native Americans, bulbs were eaten raw or boiled.