Calochortus macrocarpus Douglas
Sagebrush mariposa lily, Sagebrush mariposa-lily, Bigpod mariposa
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: CAMA5
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 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: yes
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
BibliographyBibref 1218 - Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources (2006) Anderson, M. Kat
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Calochortus macrocarpus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calochortus macrocarpus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calochortus macrocarpus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff