- Author: Robert J Keiffer
As the grass-covered hills of California turn to harvest gold as the summer progresses one can find some bright spots of vivid purple. Harvest Brodiaea or Crown Brodiaea (Brodiaea coronaria) is a perennial herb (bulb or corm) that is native to California and north to British Columbia. Found in valley grasslands, foothill woodlands, yellow pine forests, and wetland vegetation types, this late spring/early summer bloomer brightens the hillsides upon close-inspection (you are not likely to see these from the car at 60 mph).
Its bell-shaped corolla of six bright purple lobes adorns the top of the erect inflorescence. This species was first collected by Archibald Menzies during the Vancouver Expedition, and was published as Hookera coronaria by Richard Salisbury in 1808.
This cheery wildflower is common at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.