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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Liliaceae | Dichelostemma

3. Dichelostemma ida-maia (Alph. Wood) Greene, Man. Bot. San Francisco. 318. 1894.

Firecracker flower

Brevoortia ida-maia Alph. Wood, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 19: 82. 1867; B. coccinea (A. Gray) S. Watson; B. venusta Greene; Brodiaea coccinea A. Gray; B. ida-maia (Alph. Wood) Greene; B. venusta (Greene) Greene; Dichelostemma venustum (Greene) Hoover

Leaves 3–5, 30–50 cm; blade keeled, glaucous. Scape 30–90 cm, smooth. Inflorescences umbellate, open, 6–20-flowered; bracts reddish, lanceolate, 15–25 mm, apex obtuse. Flowers nodding at anthesis, erect in fruit; perianth tube red, cylindrical, not constricted above ovary, 20–27 mm, with 6 sac-like angles on proximal 1/3, lobes recurved, erect in fruit, yellow-green, 7–9 mm; perianth appendages each coalescent with an inner and outer tepal, forming conspicuous corona, erect, whitish, 3–4 mm, margins entire, involute, apex rounded; stamens 3, equal; anthers 6–8 mm; ovary stipitate, narrowly ovoid, 7–12 mm, stipe 3–6 mm; style 7–20 mm; pedicel 10–50 mm. 2n = 28, 48.

Flowering spring (May--early Jul). Forest edges, grasslands near coast; 0--2000 m; Calif., Oreg.

Dichelostemma ida-maia is so distinctive that it has typified a segregate genus, Brevoortia. This species stands apart from all other members of Dichelostemma by its long, bright red perianth tube and green perianth lobes, nodding flowers, long anthers, stipitate ovary, and large seeds. Dichelostemma venustum, the rose firecracker flower, may be a hybrid between D. ida-maia and D. congestum or D. multiflorum. It is intermediate in perianth tube length and color (pink), and gynophore length (L. W. Lenz 1971; G. Keator 1991, 1993b). It is restricted to relatively mesic habitats of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon.


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