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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Calochortus macrocarpus Douglas
Sagebrush mariposa lily, Sagebrush mariposa-lily, Bigpod mariposa
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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
, WA Native Distribution:
& n. NV,
n. to B.C. & s.w. MT Native Habitat:
Dry plains; sagebrush slopes; 4000-6000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Food: Bulb
consumed by indigenous peoples. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: 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
Record Last Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff