Ipheion uniflorum ‘Wisley Blue’

spring starflower

  • © Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

  • © Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

Outstanding Qualities

This vigorous, clump-forming, bulbous perennial is grown for its profusion of pale, lilac-blue flowers in spring. As this color is unusual in the garden, it really stands out. Tuck it in around hostas and peonies, for it will bloom while they are just beginning to emerge and it will be dormant during summer. Although the flowers of spring starflower smell like honey or soap, its grass-like basal leaves smell like onions. This species is native to Argentina and Uruguay. In the wild, flower colors include white and pale blue. 'Wisley Blue' was selected at the Royal Horticultural Society's garden in England for its slightly deeper flower color. This modest bulb continues to confound botanists, as demonstrated by the many genus names it has held (in alphabetical order): Brodiaea, Ipheion, Milla, Tristagma and Triteleia. Tristagma uniflora is the currently accepted name, but it is not widely recognized horticulturally.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 0 ft. 9 in. (0.23 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 3 in. (0.08 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: lavender

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occassional water during summer

Culture Notes
Spring starflower is easy to grow in full sun with rich well-drained soil. Apply a light dosage of fertilizer while starflower is in bloom. It will go dormant through the summer, so cut back the basal leaves as they begin to wither and provide occasional watering during summer dry spells to keep the underground bulbs from shriveling. Spring starflower can easily be dug up and divided as the foliage starts to decline after it blooms.