Hesperocallis undulata - A.Gray.
Common Name Desert Lily
Family Agavaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sandy flats and gentle slopes below 750 metres in deserts and creosote bush scrub[71].
Range South-western N. America - Arizona, California and Nevada,
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Hesperocallis undulata Desert Lily

Hesperocallis undulata Desert Lily
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of bulb
Hesperocallis undulata is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in flower from Feb to March. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[2, 71, 161, 177, 257]. A garlic flavour[270]. The bulbs can be baked or boiled[257]. Quite large, the bulb is up to 5cm in diameter[71] and is found up to 50cm below soil level[245].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Requires a very well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants are intolerant of temperatures below freezing, especially if this is coupled with wetness[200]. The bulbs like plenty of moisture when in growth in the spring[188] but must be kept dry when they are dormant[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or treated as a half-hardy annual[1], though they can succeed outdoors in very sheltered parts of south-west Britain[245]. Plants are very difficult to induce into flower in Britain and are best grown in a greenhouse in almost pure sand with some leafmold. Water should be withheld in the summer[42]. The flowers open in the evening and scent the air around them[245]. Bulbs are often found at a great depth in the soil[200].
Seed - sow in late winter or as soon as ripe in a deep pot in a very free draining compost in a greenhouse. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not have to be pricked out, and grow the young seedlings on without disturbance for their first 2 years - give them very little water during their dormant period, merely making sure that the compost does not dry out completely. Divide the young bulbs up into individual deep pots when they have completed their second growing season and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least another year before planting them out during their dormant period.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Hesperocallis undulata  

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