False Asphodel Seeds (Triantha occidentalis)
This is our only regional member of the obscure Tofieldiaceae family, a group of lily-like plants. False asphodel made headlines in 2021 when it was discovered to be partially carnivorous – trapping tiny insects with sticky stem hairs and flower structures, then digesting those trapped insects with enzymes, providing the plant with a secondary food source. Larger flower visitors such as bees and butterflies are much too big for the plant to pose any risk to them.
This is a plant of the cooler regions of western North America, and it is very much a wet meadow species. Unlike so many of our Pacific Northwest wildflowers, false asphodel blooms at the height of summer, first forming interesting red flowerheads that later open to reveal white clusters of flowers with bright yellow anthers. We do not know much about the germination and propagation requirements of this plant, but it likely benefits from extended exposure to cold, wet conditions to get a start.
0.1 grams (approximately 200 tiny, tiny seeds)