by Frank Wallace
Ithuriel’s spear grows 1-2 feet in height and produces 8-20 lovely funnel-shaped violet-blue flowers on its leafless stem. This plant blooms in profuse clusters in early spring along many of Sacramento’s urban creeks and along the bluffs overlooking Lake Natoma. Ithuriel, from Milton’s Paradise Lost, was one of the angels appointed to guard Paradise and anything false was revealed as its true self when touched by his heavenly spear. Also known as Grass Nut, its short bulb- like underground stem was consumed by California Indians.
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2005 Newsletter