Triteleia 'Rudy'
Common Name: triteleia
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: White with violet petal stripe
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in rich, fertile, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Performs well in sandy loams. Best with regular and consistent moisture during the growing season (spring to early summer), but needs a dry soil during the post-bloom dormancy period (early summer to the following spring). Plant bulbs 3-5” deep and 2-4” apart in fall. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 6 (Zone 5 when sited in a protected south-facing location and given a winter mulch).

In northern areas, this plant may be grown in containers which should be placed in full sun to part shade during the growing season, moved to a dry rain-protected area in early summer after bloom is completed in order to ensure that soils will remain dry during dormancy, and finally brought indoors in fall to a cool, dry area (e.g., unheated basement or garage with temperatures in the 40-45 degrees F. range) for overwintering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Triteleia is a genus of about 15 species of cormous perennials, all of which are native to western North America. They are grown for their showy funnel-shaped flowers which bloom in umbel-like inflorescences atop leafless flowering stems in spring to early summer. Each flower consists of three petals, three petal-like tepals, six stamens and a 3-lobed stigma atop a single 3-chambered ovary. Triteleias grow from underground corms which last for only one year, but are replaced each year by new corms that develop from fall to late spring. Plants go dormant in summer after bloom.

Originally included in the genus Brodiaea, but has been reclassified as Triteleia.

Genus name comes from the Greek trias meaning three in reference to the arrangement of the flower parts.

‘Rudy’, commonly known as triplet lily or triteleia, is a hybrid variety that features narrow, linear, gray-green, grass-like basal leaves in spring followed by a late June to early-July bloom of showy, upward-facing, funnel-shaped, white flowers (up to 25 per stem), each flower (to 1 1/2” long) being adorned by a vivid violet stripe down the center of each petal and tepal. Flowers bloom in umbel-like inflorescences on wiry stems rising to 12-24” tall. Leaves begin to die back as the flowers commence bloom. Once bloom is completed in early summer, this plant goes dormant for the remaining summer and fall.

‘Rudy’ is sometimes sold in commerce as a cultivar of Triteleia laxa.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Borders. Naturalized areas. Blooms from late spring into early summer when most spring bulbs have already bloomed. Consider growing in combination with other plants which will fill in the spaces left when the bulbs go dormant in summer. In moist northeastern areas of the U.S., it can be difficult to grow (except perhaps in dry rock gardens). Long lasting flower for bouquets.