Herb: Wild Hyacinth

Latin name: Dichelostemma pulchellum

Synonyms: Brodiaea capitata, Brodiaea pulchella, Dichelostemma capitatum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Edible parts of Wild Hyacinth:

Corm - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour, it may seem rather flat at first, but the taste quickly grows on one. A slow baking develops the sweetness of the corm. The corm can be dried and ground into a powder then used as a thickener in soups or mixed with cereal flours to make bread etc. The corm is usually harvested in the spring. Flowers - raw. A nice decoration in the salad bowl.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Plains and hillsides on dry open ridges and grassy meadows to 1800 metres.

Other uses of Wild Hyacinth:

The corms have been rubbed on metate into an adhesive and then spread on baskets to close the interstices and prevent small seeds falling through the gaps.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a free-draining compost in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame. Seedlings are prone to damping off and so should be kept well ventilated. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15C. If the seed is sown thinly enough, it can be grown on for its first year without transplanting and then the dormant bulbs can be planted 2/3 to a pot. Otherwise prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle, planting them 2/3 to a pot. Grow on the plants in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn of offsets that have reached flowering size. Dig up the clumps of bulbs and replant the larger ones into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller ones and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Cultivation of Wild Hyacinth:

Plains and hillsides on dry open ridges and grassy meadows to 1800 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Dichelostemma pulchellum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.