Close-up of the purplish flower of Field Cluster-Lily or Ookaw (Dichelostemma congestum). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Swallowtail butterfly perched on the purplish flower of Field Cluster-Lily or Ookaw (Dichelostemma congestum). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Field Cluster-Lily (Ookaw)

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Dichelostemma congestum


Going by several common names; Ookaw, Field Cluster-Lily or Northern Saitas is a fast-growing, delicate wildflower that adds splashes of blue to well-draining sunny areas. Its sparse foliage fits perfectly in dry perennial beds and meadowscapes, where it goes virtually unnoticed until it’s globe-shaped clusters of bluish-purple flowers seem to suddenly appear, suspended from purple-veined bracts, cheerfully announcing summer. 

  • Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant/ground layer
  • Size at maturity: 0-2' high, 0-1' wide
  • Light requirements: full sun, part sun / part shade
  • Moisture requirements: dry to moist, well-drained soil
  • Bloom Time: May - August
  • Growth rate/ease: fast growth rate, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: nectar source for adult butterflies, native bees, and other insect pollinators; attracts and supports hummingbirds
  • Native habitat/range: Common in meadows, open rocky areas, and open forests throughout western Oregon, especially in the Cascades and east Cascades, up to 1600 meters. Portland Plant List - yes.  
  • Special features & uses: attracts and supports hummingbirds, pollinator gardens and wildflower meadows

Gardening with Cluster Lily: Plant in multiples, among your dry meadowscapes, pollinator gardens, rock gardens and other perennial beds to add splashes of spring and early summer color.


Photo Credit 1: "Ookow Dichelostemma congestum" by loarie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit 2:  "Pale Swallowtail on Forktooth Ookow (Dichelostemma congestum) 2014-05-31 (7)" by Don Henise is licensed under CC BY 2.0