Golden stars are slender, scapose-stemmed herbacious
peren-nials arising from corms which are sections of underground stem
covered with thin papery leaves as opposed to bulbs which have thickened
fleshy scales. This plant grows to 2' tall and has 1-2 basal linear
leaves 1/8" to 1/4" wide and about half as long as the scape.
30-50 orange-yellow flowers develop on pedicels 1-1/2" to
2" long in an open umbel. There are six perianth segments,
all alike, sometimes striped with brownish lines along the midrib. What
appears to be six petals is actually three petals and three sepals.
The 6 stamens arise from a small cup at their base (differentiating
this genus from Brodiaea where the cup is absent), the anthers
are attached near the middle, and the stigma is 3-lobed. Golden
stars are fairly common on dry flats and grassy slopes and ridges, often
in heavy clay soils, in the coastal sage scrub, chaparral, valley grassland
and oak woodland plant communities from Baja to Santa Barbara and Kern
Cos. It blooms from April to June. These pictures were taken near Trippett
Ranch in Topanga State Park.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Bloomeria 2) crocea.
Pronunciation: bloo-MARE-ee-a KRO-see-a.
Click here for Botanical