Herb: Grassnut

Latin name: Triteleia laxa

Synonyms: Brodiaea laxa

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Edible parts of Grassnut:

Bulb - raw or cooked. Tasty. A sweet flavour. Rich in starch, the bulb can be used like potatoes.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

Heavy soils in many habitats below 1400 metres.

Propagation of Grassnut:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Alternatively, the seed can be sown in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 15C. Sow the seed thinly so that there is no need to prick them out and grow the seedlings on in the pot for their first year. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. Seedlings are prone to damping off so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated. When they become dormant, pot up the small bulbs placing about 3 in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for another year or two until the bulbs are about 20mm in diameter and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in the autumn. Division of flowering size bulbs in autumn. Dig up the clumps of bulbs, replanting the larger ones direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller ones and grow them on in a greenhouse for a year before planting them out when they are dormant in early autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Heavy soils in many habitats below 1400 metres.

Medicinal use of Grassnut:

None known

Known hazards of Triteleia laxa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.