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Native Plant Database

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Calochortus macrocarpus (Sagebrush mariposa lily)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Calochortus macrocarpus

Calochortus macrocarpus Douglas

Sagebrush mariposa lily, Sagebrush mariposa-lily, Bigpod mariposa

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: CAMA5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

This is a stout-stemmed mariposa-lily, 8-20 in. high, with 1-3 showy flowers. At top of stout, erect, generally unbranched stems bloom 1-3 handsome bell-shaped, lilac flowers in a loose umbel-like cluster. Petals are purple with a central green stripe and often a purple band above the gland. The leaves of this bulbous perennial are grass-like.

One of the most frequent Mariposa Tulips in the arid Northwest. A white phase with a reddish stripe on each petal occurs in southeastern Washington and adjacent west-central Idaho.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , WA
Native Distribution: N.e. CA & n. NV, n. to B.C. & s.w. MT
Native Habitat: Dry plains; sagebrush slopes; 4000-6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, usually volcanic, soils.
Conditions Comments: All Calochortus spp. are extremely difficult in cultivation. Flowering bulbs must be raised from seed for any success and bulbs must be kept completely dry from mid-summer to late fall. Bulbs will protection from gophers and moles.

Benefit

Use Food: Bulb consumed by indigenous peoples.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Propagation

Description: Plant seed in late autumn in pots, flats or outdoor seed beds. Corms reach maturity in 3-5 years.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: 5-6 weeks stratification enhances germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Additional resources

USDA: Find Calochortus macrocarpus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calochortus macrocarpus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calochortus macrocarpus

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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