Flowers, 30-50 with 2 in. long stalks in a loose umbel on 1 to 1 1/2 ft. stems. One or two basal grasslike leaves, half as long as the flower stalk, withered at the time of flowering.  UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 3-31-10. © Joan Avise.

Golden Stars (Common Goldenstar)

Bloomeria crocea

A perennial herb, 8-20 in. high, arising from a 5/8 in. corm covered with brown fibers. Widespread and common but patchy, in native grassland and openings in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, in heavy clay soil on dry flats and rocky slopes. Fruit a capsule.  Seeds require 3- 4 yrs to become a mature plant.  Conspicuous in the first spring after a fire resulting from re-sprouting bulbs. The Cahuilla, who inhabited the San Jacinto Mountains, were able to utilize the corms of B. crocea for food.  They were eaten raw (De Ruff). Flowering : April - June.

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Six golden-yellow perianth lobes, sometimes with green or brown midvein lines, persistent; 6 stamens; 3-10 mm filaments (stamen stalks) parallel to the style, widened at the base, forming a shallow nectar cup; one pistil with three-lobed stigma.  UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-7-11. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-7-11. © Joan Avise.

With developing fruits. UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-22-09. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-22-09. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-22-09. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-22-09. © Joan Avise.

Peter's Canyon Regional Park, Irvine, CA. 5-21-06. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-7-11. © Joan Avise.

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 4-7-11. © Joan Avise.