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Triteleia laxa

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(Redirected from Ithuriel's spear)

Triteleia laxa
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Brodiaeoideae
Genus: Triteleia
T. laxa
Binomial name
Triteleia laxa

Triteleia laxa (previously Brodiaea laxa) is a triplet lily known by several common names, including Ithuriel's spear,[1] common triteleia and grassnut. It is native to California where it is a common wildflower, and it is occasionally found in southwestern Oregon. It bears a tall, naked stem topped with a spray of smaller stalks, each ending in a purple or blue flower. The flower is tubular, opening into a sharply six-pointed star. The plant grows from a corm which is edible and similar in taste and use as the potato.[2] The most used common name for the species, Ithuriel's spear, is a reference to the angel Ithuriel from Milton's Paradise Lost.[citation needed]



Hardiness: USDA 6-10



The genus name Triteleia is derived from Greek and means 'triplicate', a reference to its flower parts, which are in multiples of three. The epithet laxa means 'open', 'uncrowded', 'distant', 'spreading', or 'lax'.[3] It is derived from the Latin adjective laxus, meaning 'flaccid, loose'.[4]


  1. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Triteleia laxa". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  2. ^ Chesnut, V K (1900–1902), Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California, vol. 7, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, pp. 327–329
  3. ^ Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 232, 388
  4. ^ Stearn, W.T. (2004). Botanical Latin (4th (p/b) ed.). Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-7153-1643-6.
Ithuriel's spear, Triteleia laxa, Bay Area, California