Brodiaea laxa (Tritelia) 'Queen Fabiola'
'Queen Fabiola' flowers in very late spring (June) and lasts for 2-3 weeks. Plants are 15-20 inches tall.
Origin of species: Northern California
About the time you're planting gladiolus in the garden this spring how about trying something new that will wake up your garden and excite your flower arrangements indoors. This bulb is called Brodiaea [Queen Fabiola] and if you talk to your local florist, they will tell you how wonderful it is. As a cut flower, it will last 2 weeks or more in a vase of water or left alone in the garden, the flowers should last 4 to 6 weeks. The foliage resembles a coarse grass but when the flowers appear you are in for a real treat. The blue/purple flowers will appear in June on 12 to 18 inch stems in a spreading umbrella type cluster. Each stem contains 10 or more 1 inch star shape flowers that seem to last forever. When planted in groups of 10 or more bulbs, the flower cluster resemble an explosion of fireworks on the Fourth of July. This is an inexpensive bulb to plant and a must for great cut flowers. Plant Brodiaea in full sun and a soil that has good drainage. Conditioning the soil is desirable for 2 reasons. The better the soil, the stronger the stems will be, and if the soil is conditioned with animal manure, peat moss and compost, the bulbs will multiply in numbers during the summer. Plant 25 bulbs and by fall have 50 or more. The Brodiaea bulbs resemble a Crocus. Plant in the ground 2 to 3 inches deep and 2 inches apart. In the fall, bulbs must be dug and stored in your basement for the winter. At that time of the year you can separate the offsets and replant in the spring. When planting bulbs add a hand full of superphosphate to stimulate root growth and a hand full of chicken manure to prevent animals from eating bulbs.
There's also a mountain range in Antarctica and a bread in Spain named after Fabiola.