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Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. pauciflorum (Little bluedicks)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. pauciflorum

Dichelostemma capitatum (Benth.) Alph. Wood ssp. pauciflorum (Torr.) G. Keator

Little Bluedicks, Little Blue Dicks, Covena, Grass Nuts, Desert Hyacinth, Few-flowered Covena, Hahd, Papago Lily, Purplehead, Wild Hyacinth

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Brodiaea pulchella var. pauciflora, Dichelostemma pulchellum var. pauciflorum

USDA Symbol: dicap

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Terrestrial, perennial forb. Plant grows from a corm producing few, narrow leaves and naked flower scapes. Usually 2-5 flowers borne in conspicuously bracted umbels. Flowers blue-violet, short-tubular, campanulate with six perianth lobes.

This range of this subspecies of Dichelostemma capitatum extends farther east and south than that of D. capitatum ssp. capitatum reaching New Mexico and Baja California. The bracts of this taxon are generally whitish with purple streaks.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tuberous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Texture: Smooth
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Inflorescence: Terminal , Umbel
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flowering stem 12-30".
Leaf: Green
Flower: Petals 6
Fruit: Black

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: Southern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, Arizona, western New Mexico, Baja California.
Native Habitat: Rocky, sandy or gravelly soil on mesas, arroyos, canyons, ridges and mountains.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: This species grows in a wide variety of soil conditions including sandy, gravelly, rocky, loamy, silty, cindery, rocky clay and clay soils.
Conditions Comments: Prefers sandy, rocky soils on mesas, buttes and exposed hillsides in the desert Southwest.


Use Ornamental: Interesting in a xeric garden bed.
Use Food: Native Americans harvested and ate the corms.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: May be propagated by corm offsets or seeds.
Seed Collection: Seed should be collected when black and fully ripe.


Bibref 261 - Arizona Flora (1960) Kearney, T. H. & R. H. Peebles
Bibref 7 - Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California (1993) Hickman, J.C. (ed.)

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. pauciflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. pauciflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. pauciflorum


Record Modified: 2022-08-17
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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