views updated

brodiea or brodiaea (both: brədē´ə), any plant of the genus Brodiaea, herbs of the family Liliaceae (lily family), with narrow leaves and blue or purple star-shaped flowers. The many North American species include the golden brodiea (B. ixioides) and the common, or white, brodiea (B. hyacinthina), called also wild hyacinth. Both are found in hilly regions of the Pacific states. Temperate South American species include the spring starflower (B. uniflora), which is commonly cultivated. The small onionlike bulbs of brodieas were eaten by Native Americans and called "grass nuts." Brodiea is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.