Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Calochortus venustus Dougl. ex Benth.
Butterfly mariposa lily, Butterfly mariposa-lily, White mariposa-lily
USDA Symbol: CAVE3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
This species has a greater color range than most Calochortus spp., but is most often white. Each petal has a dark red blotch, often surrounded by paler blotches. The stems of this bulbiferous perennial are branched and bear grass-like leaves. Flowers occur in groups of 1-3.
The Square Mariposa Lily is a member of the lily family (family Liliaceae). Lilies are mostly perennial herbs from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms. The family is extremely complex and botanists estimate 250 genera and 4,000-6,000 species. Many, including tulips and day lilies, are handsome ornamentals. Asparagus, Sarsaparilla, onions, and the medicinally useful Aloe are from the family. A few species are poisonous.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
CA Native Distribution:
S. & c. Sierra foothills & s. & c. Coast Ranges of CA Native Habitat:
Grasslands; hot foothill woodlands; 1000-8000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Light, sandy soil; often decomposed granite
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. Needs 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: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
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
Record Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff