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Triteleia bridgesii

Bridges' brodiaea, Bridges' triteleia

brodiaea, triplet-lily, triteleia

Habit Herbs, perennial, scapose, from fibrous-coated corms.

20–55 cm × 3–10 mm.

1–3, basal;

blade narrowly lanceolate (linear in Triteleia ixioides), keeled, channeled, glabrous, margins entire.


10–60 cm, smooth except sometimes scabrous near base.

erect, cylindrical, 1–5 mm diam., rigid.


umbellate, open, bracteate;

bracts green (purplish in T. lemmoniae), ± lanceolate, scarious.


perianth lilac, bluish purple, pink, or reddish purple, 27–45 mm, tube strongly attenuate with slender base, 17–25 mm, hyaline vescicles present in tube, lobes abruptly spreading, 10–20 mm, shorter than tube;

stamens attached at 1 level, equal;

filaments triangular, widened toward base, 3–4 mm, apical appendages absent;

anthers bluish, 3.5–4.5 mm;

ovary 1/4–1/3 length of stipe;

pedicel 2–9 cm.

perianth 6-tepaled, connate proximally into tube of varying length and shape, usually funnelform, lobes similar, usually ascending to spreading;

stamens 6, epitepalous;

filaments distinct, adnate to perianth tube in 1 or 2 rows, equal or of 2 unequal lengths, free portions flattened, sometimes dilated at base to form triangle, apical appendages usually absent, when present sometimes forming a crown;

anthers versatile, usually curving away from stigma;

pistil 3-carpellate;

ovary superior, green or colored like perianth (yellow in T. peduncularis, white in T. clementina), stipitate, 3-locular, ovules anatropous, 2–several per locule;

style 2–4 mm;

stigma weakly 3-lobed;

pedicel ± erect, often articulate, usually longer than perianth (shorter in T. crocea).


capsular, ovoid, dehiscence loculicidal.


black, ridged on 1 side, subglobose, rounded, coarsely and irregularly pitted, minutely granulate or granulate-reticulate, coat with crust.


= 7, 8.


= 16.

Triteleia bridgesii


Phenology Flowering spring (Apr–Jun).
Habitat Foothills, yellow pines, mixed evergreen forests, often at forest edges and on rocks, dry bluffs, hillsides, mainly areas of serpentine
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from USDA
w North America; n Mexico
[BONAP county map]

Triteleia bridgesii is similar to T. laxa and in herbarium specimens can be distinguished only by the stamens. However, in fresh flowers, the perianth lobes of T. bridgesii spread abruptly from the throat of the perianth tube, unlike those of T. laxa, and the flowers of T. bridgesii are erect, while those of T. laxa are oriented horizontally. Triteleia bridgesii flowers a month earlier than T. laxa where they both occur in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The flowers in specimens of T. bridgesii from Humboldt County are unusually long, which accounts for the wide ranges of measurements for the perianth.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species 15 (14 in the flora).

For discussion of relationships, see under Brodiaea.

Molecular evidence (J. C. Pires 2000) suggests the artificiality of the subgenera and sections that have been recognized within Triteleia, consistent with R. F. Hoover (1941), who recognized sections for reasons of convenience only. Thus, those infrageneric taxa are not utilized here.

Several species of Triteleia are exceedingly variable, and polyploidy is common: multiples of both x = 7 and x = 8 occur, suggesting that chromosomal changes have played a significant evolutionary role within the genus (M. P. Burbanck 1941).

Triteleia is widely distributed west of the Rocky Mountains, but its greatest diversity is in the “Klamath area” of northwestern California and southern Oregon. The corms of some species were eaten by native Americans.

Among the most important diagnostic characters within Triteleia are features of the androecium, particularly stamen height and insertion relative to the perianth, and the presence of apical filament appendages. These characters are easily seen in the field with a hand lens. When collecting flowering specimens, one should make a point of mounting a few dissected flowers in a manner that displays these critical characters.

The only Triteleia species that does not occur in the flora, T. guadalupensis L. W. Lenz, is endemic to Guadalupe Island off Baja California.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Stamens attached alternately at 2 levels on perianth tube, forming 2 rows of 3.
→ 2
1. Stamens all attached at same level at throat of perianth tube.
→ 6
2. Perianth tube obtuse and rounded at base; ovary twice as long as stipe.
T. grandiflora
2. Perianth tube acute or attenuate at base; ovary shorter than or equal to stipe (slightly longer than stipe in T. crocea).
→ 3
3. Stamens unequal, alternately long and short.
→ 4
3. Stamens equal in length or nearly so.
→ 5
4. Pedicel 0.7–2 cm; perianth 12–19 mm, bright yellow or pale blue; ovary green.
T. crocea
4. Pedicel 2–10(–18) cm; perianth 15–28 mm, white, often flushed violet or lilac abaxially; ovary bright yellow.
T. peduncularis
5. Perianth 16–27 mm, lavender; anthers purple, 1.5 mm; endemic to San Clemente Island.
T. clementina
5. Perianth 18–47 mm, pale blue, sometimes deep bluish purple or white; anthers white to bluish, 2–5 mm; widespread in California.
T. laxa
6. Stamens unequal, alternately long and short.
→ 7
6. Stamens equal in length or nearly so.
→ 9
7. Longer filaments rounded apically.
T. lugens
7. Longer filaments not rounded apically.
→ 8
8. Apical filament appendages short, blunt, or absent; perianth tube ca. equal to lobes.
T. dudleyi
8. Apical filament appendages pointed, conspicuous; perianth tube much shorter than or equal to lobes.
T. ixioides
9. Perianth 27–45 mm, tube strongly attenuate, lobes shorter than tube.
T. bridgesii
9. Perianth 7–23 mm, tube turbinate, bowl-shaped, or funnelform and moderately attenuate at base, lobes 2–3 times longer than tube.
→ 10
10. Perianth tube funnelform, attenuate at base, lobes ca. twice as long as tube.
→ 11
10. Perianth tube turbinate or shallowly bowl-shaped, lobes 2–3 times longer than tube.
→ 12
11. Perianth 12–17 mm; filaments more than 1/2 as long as perianth lobes.
T. montana
11. Perianth 18–26 mm; filaments less than 1/2 as long as perianth lobes.
T. hendersonii
12. Perianth bright yellow to deep orange, turbinate; Arizona.
T. lemmoniae
12. Perianth white, blue, or lilac, shallowly bowl-shaped; not in Arizona.
→ 13
13. Filaments usually triangular-dilated, hyaline vesicles absent from perianth tube; usually moist soils, widespread.
T. hyacinthina
13. Filaments always linear, hyaline vesicles present in perianth tube; dry rocky outcrops, volcanic hills and mesas of n California.
T. lilacina
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 340. FNA vol. 26, p. 338. Author: J. Chris Pires.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Triteleia Liliaceae
Sibling taxa
T. clementina, T. crocea, T. dudleyi, T. grandiflora, T. hendersonii, T. hyacinthina, T. ixioides, T. laxa, T. lemmoniae, T. lilacina, T. lugens, T. montana, T. peduncularis
Subordinate taxa
T. bridgesii, T. clementina, T. crocea, T. dudleyi, T. grandiflora, T. hendersonii, T. hyacinthina, T. ixioides, T. laxa, T. lemmoniae, T. lilacina, T. lugens, T. montana, T. peduncularis
Synonyms Brodiaea bridgesii, Hookera bridgesii Brodiaea section Calliprora, Brodiaea subg. Calliprora, Brodiaea subg. Hesperoscordum, Brodiaea section Seubertia, Brodiaea subg. T., Calliprora, Hesperoscordum, Seubertia
Name authority (S. Watson) Greene: Bull. Calif. Acad. Sci. 2: 141. (1886) Douglas ex Lindley: Edwards’s Bot. Reg. 15: under plate 1293. (1830)
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