brodiea or brodiaea both: brədē´ə [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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