Triteleia laxa (previously Brodiaea laxa) is a triplet lily known by several common names, including Ithuriel's spear, 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. The most used common name for the species, Ithuriel's spear, is a reference to the angel Ithuriel from Milton's Paradise Lost.
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'. It is derived from the Latin adjective laxus, meaning 'flaccid, loose'.
- USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Triteleia laxa". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Chesnut, V K (1900–1902), Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California, vol. 7, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, pp. 327–329
- Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 232, 388
- Stearn, W.T. (2004). Botanical Latin (4th (p/b) ed.). Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-7153-1643-6.
Media related to Triteleia laxa at Wikimedia Commons