Star Tulip (Calochortus elegans)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Star Tulip
Calochortus elegans
Calochortaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – raw or cooked[2, 46, 61, 105, 161].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15¡c[138]. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth[138], but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot[214]. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 – 7 years to come into flower[214]. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. The bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions but in areas with wet winters it might be best to store them overwinter and replant them in the spring. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering. They can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring.
Requires a deep very well-drained fertile sandy soil in a warm sunny position and must be kept dry from mid summer to late autumn[1, 42, 200]. This is a rather difficult plant to cultivate in Britain, it is very cold hardy but is intolerant of wetness especially in the winter[1, 42]. It is easiest to grow in a bulb frame but is worth trying outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall, especially with shrubs that like these conditions[120]. Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage dies down in the summer and stored overwinter in a cool dry place, replanting in spring[138]. The bulbs must be replanted immediately according to another report[1]. Bulbs frequently divide after flowering, the bulblets taking 2 years to reach flowering size[200]. This species is closely related to C. tolmiei[200]. Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required[1].
South-western N. America – Oregon.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.