Triteleia Care: Tips For Growing Triplet Lily Plants

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Planting triplet lilies in your landscape is a great source of late spring or early summer color and blooms. Triplet lily plants (Triteleia laxa) are native to Northwest parts of the United States, but easily grow in many areas of the country. Let’s learn more about how to grow a triplet lily.

Triteleia Plant Info

Triplet lilies are perennial plants. They are commonly called ‘Pretty Face’ or ‘Wild Hyacinth.’ Blooms of triplet lily plants can be light blue, lavender, or white. Reaching 15 to 20 inches (40-50 cm.), planting triplet lilies among plants that flower earlier adds a splash of color around foliage that should remain in the landscape until it yellows. The blooms will last two to three weeks with the right planting and triplet lily care.

The flower grows on stalks that rise from grass-like clumps. These stalks have 20 to 25 small blooms in a 6-inch (15 cm.) umbel, making them appear dainty and attractive when growing in the garden.

Planting Triplet Lilies

Triplet lily plants grow from corms. Plant the corms in spring, when all danger of frost is passed or plant in autumn with other spring-blooming flowers. Those in USDA Zone 6 and further north should mulch heavily for winter protection.

Plant the corms about 4 inches (10 cm.) apart and 5 inches (12.5 cm.) deep, or three times the height of the corm. Remember to plant with the root side down.

Plant in a sunny to partly sunny location that has well-draining soil.

Triplet lily plants grow best in organic soil. Prepare the area before planting with shredded leaves, adding compost and any other well-composted, organic material. You can add a slow-release fertilizer now, if you like. Water in and cover with organic mulch after planting.

Triteleia Care

Triteleia care includes watering the corms until roots grow. Once established, triteleia plant info says the plant is drought tolerant. Remember, though, even drought resistant plants like an occasional drink.

When planting triplet lilies, make sure corms are firm. Plant in front of iris corms, so the blooms can detract from the foliage after the iris bloom is done. Learning how to grow a triplet lily is rewarding when the blooms burst open and grace the garden with powerful, perky color.

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Triteleia, Grass Nut, Ithuriel's Spear, Wally Basket 'Queen Fabiola'


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jun 16, 2017, Krootie from Weirton, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I purchase a small bag of the bulbs about 10 years ago on an end of season clearance table. Planted them in different parts of my garden and find full sun provides a better display and they multiply more rapidly. They do accept part shade as well as full shade. The deer seem to nibble and test them, but not fully consume. They are a pleasing surprise blooming as spring displays finish and before the summer blooms arrive. Let the leaves die back naturally to assure blooms the following years. A wonderful addition to a perennial garden.

On May 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Flowering is in late spring to early summer, after most spring bulbs are finished. The basal foliage dies down while flowering is beginning.

Native to western N. America, it needs to be kept dry during its summer dormancy. The corm reconstitutes itself during dormancy, summer through winter, and should not be disturbed then.

I've had the species come back for a couple of years in succession, here in Boston. Can be difficult here in the east, where summers are wet.

On May 25, 2014, eolivas103 from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is the 3rd year I have grown these Triplet Lilies. I planted them in a garden that I really didn't get all the bermuda grass eradicated out of, so I am often somewhat abusive in my attempts to get the grass out from around them. yet they continue to multiply and offer more and more blooms each year. I don't think I have lost a one. They don't multiply out of control like a week though, it is just a nice increase each year. I have them planted in full sun. They bloom in May. The foilage doesn't look as good for me as some. It may be because I have them planted in too much heat. However, they still bloom well. They are slight flowers and so my suggestion is to grow them in front of and inbetween grander flowers such as Gladiolus and Iris. With that said, I really like them and p. read more lant to buy more in other colors.

On Jul 20, 2011, weedsfree from Magna, UT (Zone 7a) wrote:

On May 4, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I thought this was a weed, growing freely under a large mulberry tree until I pulled one up and saw the bulb. These will multiply easily left in the ground in zone 9 in deep shade. One of the earliest spring surprises.

Where to grow

Triteleia '4U' (Grassnut '4U') will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Flower Arranging, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Planted in groups


Plant in autumn 8cm deep in light, sandy, fertile soil. Borderline hardy so will need protection from frosts and excessive winter wet. Foliage may die back at flowering.

Soil type

Soil drainage

Soil pH




UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Other names

Grassnut '4U', Triteleia laxa '4U' , Brodiaea laxa '4U' , Triplet lily '4U' , Ithuriel's spear '4U', Triteleia 'For You'


Variety or Cultivar

'4U' _ '4U' is a cormous perennial with semi-erect, narrowly linear, basal leaves and loose umbels of upright, funnel-shaped, lavender to lavender-pink flowers from late spring into summer.



Where to grow

Triteleia 'Aquarius' (Grassnut 'Aquarius') will reach a height of 0.4m and a spread of 0.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Flower Arranging, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Planted in groups


Plant corms in autumn 8cm deep in light, sandy, fertile soil. Borderline hardy so will need protection from frosts and excessive winter wet. Foliage may die back at flowering.

Planting Triteleia Bulbs

Related Articles

Triteleia (Triteleia spp.), also called Brodiaea, pretty face, triplet lily or wild hyacinth, is a flowering perennial native to the west coast of the United States. The flowers are funnel-shaped, five- or six-petaled and may be purple, yellow or white. They bloom in umbrella-shaped clusters in the spring, then the plant is dormant in the summer. Triteleia grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. The plant grows from bulbs, or corms, and can reach up to 4 feet tall. Triteleia should be planted in the fall and can grow in full sun or partial shade.

Choose a site that has good drainage. If the soil does not drain, the bulb could rot.

Dig about 3 inches of organic matter such as compost, leaf mold or aged manure into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil before planting.

Pull any weeds that are still growing in the planting area after the organic matter has been added. Keep the area weed-free as the plant grows.

Dig a hole 4 to 5 inches deep. Place the bulb in the bottom of the hole with the base down, the pointed side facing up. Cover the bulb with soil. Space multiple bulbs at least 4 inches apart.

Water the bulb enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. About 1 inch of water per week should be sufficient, although the amount will need to be adjusted based on rainfall and whether the bulb is in full sun or partial shade. Water when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry.

  • To arrange multiple bulbs, place them on the soil where they will be planted prior to digging the holes.
  • Triteleia is one of several types of plants suitable for planting at the base of native oak trees (Quercus spp.). Place them where they will get full sun.

Jill Kokemuller has been writing since 2010, with work published in the "Daily Gate City." She spent six years working in a private boarding school, where her focus was English, algebra and geometry. Kokemuller is an authorized substitute teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa.

July 2011 Plant Profile: Triteleia (Brodiaea)

Somewhat of a taxonomic nightmare, but truly a much overlooked summer flowering bulb! Planted as a group, these put on a colorful show in early summer as they first emerge as fleshy, grass-like plants, but then they’re soon followed by wiry stems hold up clusters of blue-violet blooms (also comes in white) that are eye-catchy and truly spectacular. The seed heads will also dry adding a little longer interest. This particular cultivar pictured is called ‘Rudy’ with a cool blue suffused in white. It thrives happily emerging from ornamental grasses and just popping up as a planned surprise. These are charming, so easy to grow and need to be used more often.

Common Name: Triplet Lily, Brodiaea
Family: Asparagaceae
Location: Soest Garden Bed 6
Origin: Western USA
Height: 10-12″
Spread: Each inflorescence is about 6-8″ wide.
Bloom Time: Late June/July.
Bloom Type/Color: Terminal umbels on wiry stems with clusters of typically blue/violet flowers,
Exposure/Water/Soil: Full sun in well-drained soil.

1. Tagetes (Mexican Marigold)

  • Botanical name: Tagetes Erecta
  • Plant Type: Perennial/Annual
  • Bloom time: May until October

Mexican Marigold, which is a common English name of Targetes, is native to Mexico, especially in the wilderness. This has 1 foot to 3 feet in height. It is mainly used as medicines and ornamental purposes as well.

It has cylindrical roots and shallow branches with woody but smooth barks. This plant comes in groups of small flower heads that are yellow or yellow-orange, sometimes reddish. When squeezed, aroma scent is released. These flowers can last the entire summer period.

This flower symbolizes passion, faith, fidelity, and courage.

2. Tea Rose/Hybrid Tea Rose (Gloire de Dijon)

  • Botanical name: Rosa 'Gloire de Dijon'
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: June to September

Gloire de Dijon, which is more known as Hybrid Tea Rose, has larger petals than most roses with glossy leaves. Blossoms start during summer to autumn, flowers vary in colors from white to pink, yellow to orange, some are purple and others with two blended colors.

Tea rose symbolizes love in general. The pink ones represent joy, gratitude, and admiration, the red variants mean deep emotion and love, while yellow is for care and friendship, purple ones are love at first sight and enchantment, and white signifies pure and innocence.

3. Thunbergia (Clockvine)

  • Botanical name: Thunbergia
  • Plant Type: Perennial/Annual
  • Bloom time: June to September

Native to the tropical areas of southern Asia, Africa and Madagascar, Thunbergia is a genus of the Acanthaceae family. Species of this, which include Clockvines, can be annual or perennial. Considered as vines and shrubs, most grow up to 7 feet as high as 26 feet.

The scientific name of this genus was taken from Carl Peter Thunberg, a Swedish naturalist. Moreover, this flowering plant signifies strength, power, vulnerability, realness, rawness and openness.

4. Tiger Flower (Tigridia)

  • Botanical name: Tigridia Pavonia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: May to June

Tiger Flower is a strikingly beautiful ornamental flower that’s mostly found in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Its flowers come in numerous colors, which include white, yellow, red, orange and purple. The most unique and eye-catching part of it is its red tiger spots or speckles on the mouth and throat area. A single flower head contains only 3 petals, but they bloom openly wide.

This flowering plant represents nobility and wealth.

5. Tiger Lily

  • Botanical name: Lilium Lancifolium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: August to September

Tiger Lily is popular grown in certain areas mostly in the northern part of Asia, which are Japan, China, and Korea, as well Russia. It has orange and black colors. This is also now prevalent in eastern North America.

This flowering plant has a unique look because of its black speckles on the petals resembling a tiger’s spots. However, the flowers have no scent.

This beautiful flower symbolizes pride and wealth.

6. Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower/Red Sunflower)

  • Botanical name: Tithonia (Tithonia Diversifolia & Tithonia Rotundifolia)
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: July to September

Tithonia is a genus of plants belonging to the sunflower family known as Asteraceae. Among the species is the Mexican Sunflower, which is considered as the Japanese Chrysanthemum. This plant is a kind of weed that quickly grows in tropical regions all over the world.

This flowering plant has an average height of 6 feet to 9 feet. It has upright and woody shrubs. Stalks produce orange, red, yellow (or a combination) flowers that resemble the look of the common sunflower. The only difference is that it has shorter petals and smaller disc florets.

It is a beautiful plant that symbolizes loyalty, faith and adoration.

7. Trachelium

  • Botanical name: Trachelium
  • Plant Type: Perennial/Annual
  • Bloom time: March to November

Trachelium is a flowering plant in the Campanulaceae family with more than three species, and these include Trachelium Caeruleum, Trachelium × Halteratum and Trachelium Lanceolatum. Most species are cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Trachelium Caeruleum, which is more known as Blue Throatwort, is among the popular species. It produces beautiful but tiny bluish purple to violet flowers. The epithet “caeruleum” refers to dark blue.

This genus represents neglected beauty.

8. Trillium (Birthroot)

  • Botanical name: Trillium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: May to June

Belonging to the Melanthiaceae family, Trillium is a genus of flowering plants native to southern and eastern North America. It is well recognized by its three-petalled white flowers.

One of the species of this is Birthroot, also known as Birthwort, Wakerobin, and Tri-Flower. It is a perennial herb that grows from rhizomes that have large leaf-like bracts and eventually bloom flowers. Apart from the common white color, this plant also produces variants of other colors, such as pink, red and light purple.

This flowering plant symbolizes elegance and precision.

9. Triplet Lily

  • Botanical name: Triteleia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: June to July

Triplet Lily, botanically known as Triteleia, is a genus of monocotyledon plants that produce lily or lavender colored flowers that look like common lilies. This is native to some parts of North America, particularly from California in the US to British Columbia in Canada.

This perennial flowering plant is made up of tall stems topped with smaller stalks. When summer arrives, it blossoms six-pointed, star-shaped bluish purple flowers.

10. Tritonia (Flame Freesia)

  • Botanical name: Tritonia/Tritonia Crocata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: May to June

Also known as Flame Freesia, Tritonia is a genus of flowering plants that belongs to the iris family. It is very common around southern Africa and the western South Africa.

This small bulbous plant grows in an abundant inflorescence. Its leaves are fan-like in shape, while flowers are beautiful in orange (almost brown) or yellow and have a sweet smell, most especially at night.

The word “triton” is the Latin word for weatherwave. It refers to the random arrangement of its stamens.

11. Trollius (Globeflower)

  • Botanical name: Trollius/Trollius europaeus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: May to June

Trollius Europaeus, which is most widely known by the English name Globeflower, is a flowering plant species of Trollius that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is usually found and well cultivated in west Asia and Europe, particularly Bulgaria.

This plant produces pretty yellow or white flowers. It is called a Globeflower for its first blossom looks like the shape of a globe, before it finally opens showing the bright yellow stamens. This typically grows in heavy and wet clay soils.

Its genus name comes from the word “trollblume”, which means globular flower. It also symbolizes gratitude.

12. Tulip

  • Botanical name: Tulipa
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: March to May/Spring

Tulip is a spring bloomer that is widely known and a favorite of many people from around the world. It is a herbaceous, and bulbiferous perennial geophytes that belongs to the lily family Liliaceae.

There are many wide fields of this beautiful flower in certain parts of the world. One of the famous destinations for Tulips is the Netherlands (Holland). You can cultivate any variants of this plant as it comes with a wide range of colors, such as yellow, orange, red, pink, violet, white. Some flowers have two colors.

Each color has also different representations or symbols. Red tulips symbolize deep, true, and undying love, while white represents purity. Orange signifies passion and energy, and purple means royalty.

Its genus name comes from the Persian/Turkish word “tulbend“, which is translated as turban because the shape is similar to turban.

13. Thyme

  • Botanical name: Thymus Vulgaris
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: June to August

Thymus Vulgaris is the generic or scientific name of one of the most common herbs called Thyme, which is also known as Garden Thyme and German Thyme. This flowering plant comes from the mint family Lamiaceae, and is native to southern Europe.

Classified as perennial, this plant is a type of bushy, woody-based evergreen shrub. It has small, aromatic, greyish green leaves. In early summer, it produces purple (some are pink) flowers.

It represents strength, courage, thrift, and good sleep.

14. Toadflax

  • Botanical name: Linaria Vulgaris
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom time: June to October

Toadflax, also known as Yellow Toadflax or Egg-and-Butter, is a flowering plant with distinguished flowers in yellow and white. It is native to Siberia, Europe, and Central Asia.

The Latin word “linus” means linen or flax, while “vulgaris” is a specific epithet that means common.

This flowering plant symbolizes presumption.

These flowers that start with T are no doubt tantalizing in their own special ways. Regardless of the symbols and origins are important, if they can create a beautiful surrounding and be used for different uses, they are perfect choices.


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