Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Lithophragma glabrum
bulbiferous prairie star, bulbous woodland star

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains.

Habitat: Grasslands and sagebrush desert to ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forest openings.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Apomixis, bumblebees, bees, flies


Glandular-pubescent, reddish-purple perennial from slender rhizomes bearing numerous rice-grain bulblets, the stems 5-25 cm. tall.


Leaves mostly basal, with petioles 1-2.5 cm. long, the blades orbicular-reniform, 1-2 cm. broad, usually cleft to the base into 5 wedge-shaped segments, which usually have 3 rounded teeth; cauline leaves sub-sessile, similar but smaller, often with reddish-purple bulblets in their axils.


Inflorescence congested at the tip of the stem to more elongate and racemose; calyx cup-shaped, 2.5-4 mm. long, the lobes triangular, 1 mm. or less long; petals pale pink to purplish-pink, with a short claw and obovate blade up to 8 mm. long, usually 5-cleft and the segments toothed.


Ovary about 1/3 inferior; carpels 3, with short beaks; seeds covered with minute spines.

Accepted Name:
Lithophragma glabrum Nutt.
Publication: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 584. 1840.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lithophragma bulbifera Rydb. [HC]
Lithophragma glabra Nutt., orthographic variant [HC]
Lithophragma glabrum Nutt. var. bulbiferum (Rydb.) Jeps.
Lithophragma glabrum Nutt. var. ramulosum (Suksd.) B. Boivin
Lithophragma tenellum Nutt. var. floridum Suksd.
Tellima bulbifera (Rydb.) Fedde
Tellima glabra (Nutt.) Steud.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lithophragma glabrum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lithophragma glabrum checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Lithophragma glabrum information.

E-Flora BC: Lithophragma glabrum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lithophragma glabrum photos.

USDA Plants: Lithophragma glabrum information.

71 photographs:
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