A Rediscovery: Triteleia Laxa

The blue flowers of Tritelia laxa 'Queen Fabiola'
Tritelia laxa ‘Queen Fabiola’ has blue flowers that are reminiscent of agapanthus.

Occasionally I come across something in the garden that I had pretty much forgotten about.

That happened last year when I was starting to clear an area of the garden that had become overgrown with too-rampant plants. (I have quite a few of these!)

I was delighted to discover these pretty little blue flowers – Tritelia laxa – still managing to survive, despite the tide of geraniums, Japanese anemonies, ivy and assorted weeds that was threatening to engulf them.

I haven’t seen them very often in the UK. Perhaps that’s because they are not thoroughly hardy and don’t like getting very wet in winter. Luckily for them, my soil is very well-drained and I guess that the weeds etc. have been protecting them from the winter cold.

Triteliea growing in a garden.
These triteliea flowers have managed to survive and multiply in a rather neglected corner of my garden.

The flowers used to be known as Brodiaea and you can still find the corms for sale under that name. They have several other names too, but the one that intrigued me is ‘Ithuriel’s Spear’. So I had to Google it…

Apparently, Ithuriel was the name of an angel who had a spear that could unmask any disguise by its touch. According to the poet Milton, he was sent to the Garden of Eden, where he used the spear to discover Satan, who was hiding in the disguise of a toad. (You can see that this must come from the sharp-looking tip of the flower bud somewhat resembling a spear.)

So now, as a result of that strange association I’m imagining myself wandering around the garden, trying to touch the frogs (haven’t seen any toads here) with a tiny blue flower. Somehow I don’t think they’d be too impressed! (Nor would the neighbours!)

Plant names seem to belong in a strange world of imagination and fantasy – but they can be amusing. And now I must go and take some more photographs of my rediscovered little beauties…

Triteleia laxa (also known as Brodiaea) 'Queen Fabiola'
Tritelia (aka Brodiaea) makes a great cut flower.

 

18 thoughts on “A Rediscovery: Triteleia Laxa

    1. They’ve photographed so well against that white background. I was only just thinking of what the missing name was from four archangels: Gabriel, Uriel, Penuel and now I suppose the one with the spear. I could be very mixed up with that though. Interesting story about the flower name.

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      1. Thank you Jill! 🙂 I thought it was rather an odd name for a flower, so ended up chasing it down the Google rabbit-hole, hehe!

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  1. Very beautiful Ann. I’ve been quiet of late due to us both coming down with a terrible flu that we’ve nearly seen off now. Its been a really horrid experience. Hope you’re doing much better.. I trust so.

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      1. Sunday night I booked us into a motel with a decent wet-floor shower and we both had a good freshen-up. (Very low-pressure water in our cottage means its difficult to feel really refreshed). Our motel room also had a spa bath and I enjoyed that this morning before leaving.. wonderful! Wellbeing level immediately shot up 🙂

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      2. Right now we’re enjoying sitting in front of our first woodfire in our cottage – a great treat. Very wintry cold outside (we could see there’s snow on the hills when we arrived home). I had the chimney guy check/clean the chimney just the other day, and now so thankful to be able to get it going tonight.

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  2. Hi Ann – I loved the little history lesson here with these beautiful colored flowers. I recently had a plant pop up in my front garden where another plant is growing. I am intrigued as to what it is going to be! Nice blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Syd – I’m glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes I get intrigued by odd bits of information about plants and end up following some weird paths through Google! I hope your mystery plant turns out to be something interesting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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