Lewisia rediviva, pictured on the left, isn't a bulb, but does have a long carroty-like root. The plant goes dormant in the summer, re-emerging in the autumn or late winter, depending upon the region it grows in. The Indian name is 'bitter-root', referring to the bitter taste to the skin. It was a very important food for many Indian tribes, and the roots were eaten after being peeled and cooked, and could be stored for very long periods of time. Apparently (I haven't tried this) the peeled roots taste a bit like a parsnip. They were of such value to some tribes that a horse could be traded for a sack of dried roots. The name 'rediviva' (meaning, roughly, coming back to life) refers to the fact that herbarium specimens that had been held for extended periods would sometimes try to resprout even in storage. Many Lewisias are hard to grow, but L. rediviva is fairly easy, and has lovely satiny flowers that come in a range of pinks and include white.
Most of the Brodiaea group (including Triteleia, Dichelostemma and Brodiaea) were used for food, and were dried and stored, pounded into a flour, or boiled or eaten raw. Lily bulbs were also used in this manner, as were the bulbs of Calochortus.
Chlorogalum pomeridianum was used differently. It could, in a pinch, be eaten for food, but the entire plant is rich in saponins, chemicals with soap-like qualities, and, like soap, they taste bad. The bulb was used for soap, and I have mixed the pounded raw bulb with water, where it gives a very silky, soapy lather, leaving your skin feeling very soft. It could be used for medicine, and the raw bulb rubbed on the skin is said to alleviate poison oak. The thick fiber that coats the bulb was, and still is, used to make wonderful brushes. The brushes were used to brush acorn meal from the mortar where they had been pounded into a flour, or for anything else that needed brushing. The brush part is made from the fiber, and the handle is make from the cooked inner bulb. If you would like to see how to make one yourself, go to the link: Download making_a_soaproot_brush.doc . The skill involved is not like making a basket!! You would need four or five large bulbs.