Herb: Californian Hyacinth

Latin name: Brodiaea coronaria

Synonyms: Brodiaea grandiflora, Brodiaea rosea, Hookera coronaria

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Edible parts of Californian Hyacinth:

Corm - raw or cooked. Baked or boiled and eaten like potatoes. When slowly roasted, it becomes very sweet. Edible fruit. This report is rather dubious and possibly refers to the seedpod since the seed is encased in a small dry capsule.

Description of the plant:


25 cm
(9 3/4 inch)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Gravelly prairies, grassy slopes and rocky buffs.

Propagation of Californian Hyacinth:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 15C. Sow the seed thinly so that it will not require thinning and grow the seedlings on undisturbed in the pot for their first year. Pot up the small bulbs when they are dormant in early autumn and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out when dormant in the autumn. Seedlings are prone to damping off, they should be watered with care and given plenty of ventilation. Division in autumn. Dig up the clumps of corms when they are dormant, divide them and replant the larger corms into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame, planting them out in late summer or the autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Gravelly prairies, grassy slopes and rocky buffs.

Medicinal use of Californian Hyacinth:

None known

Known hazards of Brodiaea coronaria:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.