Bloomeria crocea (Torrey) Cov. var. crocea

Golden Stars
Themidaceae (Brodiaea family)

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 Term Meanings.